A Derry teenager has spoken of his shock after being kicked in the head and branded a ‘Fenian B******’ in an apparent sectarian gang attack.
The young boy was kicked and punched repeatedly as he lay on the ground, before managing to flee from his attackers.
His two-part ordeal happened as he walked home through Crescent Link Retail Park on Saturday night.
Speaking to the Journal yesterday, the teenager, who has asked not to be identified, said: “I had just finished work in the town and walked over the Peace Bridge and went to my cousin’s. I stayed there for about an hour and a half and decided to walk home. I had all my work gear and stuff in a big bag. I walked down towards the carpark at the retial park between Frankie and Benny’s and McDonald’s and there was a woman who had just finished her shift, and four boys were trying to stop her moving off.”
The youth said the woman’s colleagues tried to come to her aid and called to the gang that they had rang police.
“I shouted over to them: ‘c’mon boys, clear off now, that’s disrespectful to the woman’.”
As he walked on, the youths ran up the street and initially stopped and asked him to ring them a taxi, which he tried to do but told them he had no credit left. They then questioned whether he used to go to a local integrated school before becoming abusive.
When the teenager told them to leave him alone and tried to walk off, he got a punch in the side of the head.
“I turned around and said ‘there’s no need for that there’ and another boy comes and punches me again and that there punch landed me on the floor,” he said. “They all started whaling away at me and were calling me a ‘Fenian B******’. They seemed off their heads. I could tell it was definitely drugs the way they were so pumped up.”
The boy managed to escape only to be tripped up shortly afterwards and set upon again. He eventually managed to get free and make his way home, and police were called.
Speaking about his ordeal, he said: “I was in big time shock yesterday and wild agitated. To be honest I’m traumatised by it. I was afraid they were going to bring out a knife.
“The biggest blow I got was a kick to the head and I was just dazed after that. I was just covering my head, that was the main thing to protect.”
The young boy’s father said that his son’s regular fitness regime may have saved him.
“They were trying to dance on his head,” he said, adding: “I would urge other parents to say to their children to watch out. If they have done this once, they could do it again.
It is understood police are collecting CCTV footage from the Crescent Link area.