A Bangor teenager was left bruised and shaken when, he claims, he was “struck by a police officer” after asking three officers to go easy on a man who had just been attacked by three men.
Luke Heron, 18, was enjoying a sober night out with his friends in the early hours of New Year’s Day when he saw a man being beaten up by a gang of three men on Bangor High Street.
Luke said: “I saw a man across the street being beaten up by these three guys, just outside Spice Island. There was a heavy police presence that night and it wasn’t long before the police headed over to the scene.
“However, in all the madness I saw the three men who were attacking this poor guy run off, and to my horror saw the police beating up the man who had just been assaulted.
“I went over to tell the police what had happened and tell them they can’t do this — the man they were hurting was someone I knew to see,” he added.
“I was completely sober as I am on medication at the moment, but I was angry at what they were doing.
“I may have said a few swear words, but they weren’t listening. The next thing I knew, an officer that was dressed in riot gear pushed past the crowd and other officers and I saw a baton in his hand.
“He then struck my arm a few times.
“I was completely in shock and retreated back, I had no idea they could do that. I am totally appalled.”
A police spokesperson said: “We received no reports of any incidents between New Year’s Eve night and the early hours of New Year’s Day on the High Street.
“If anyone has a complaint about the Police Service they should report it to the Police Ombudsman.”
Luke, a student at Bangor College, added: “I have been told to go to the Police Ombudsman but that’s such a hassle and it’s really a thing I want to put to the back of my mind now.
“Some people have even told me go to a solicitor — but I don’t want money or anything, just an apology. I know I didn’t do anything wrong to deserve a beating. It leaves me with no faith in the PSNI whatsoever.
“My advice to people on a night out, whether you are drunk or not, no matter what — don’t go near the cops.”