Attack victim may be brain damaged
A man may have suffered brain damage after he was beaten and left unconscious by a gang of teenagers.
The 38-year-old man remains in Altnagelvin hospital - where his condition is described as serious but stable - after he was found lying in the street with head injuries by a passer-by.
The attack is believed to have happened at some time between midnight and 3am on Saturday morning in the Carlton Drive area of Strabane.
Community worker Andy Gallagher said residents are still in shock. He added that were it not for the actions of the passer-by, the man could have died on the street where his attackers left him bleeding heavily from his injuries.
"This was a vicious assault by a gang of young hoods on a quiet inoffensive man who was literally left to die on the street," he said.
"They beat him really badly and kicked him in the head and then ran off and left him lying there unconscious and bleeding heavily from his head.
"A girl who works in a local taxi firm was walking home at 3am and found him and rang the ambulance and if it wasn't for the fast actions of the paramedics and that fact that the passer-by noticed him in the first place we could have been looking at a fatality."
Mr Gallagher, a member of the Carlton Drive Residents' Association, said local people were shocked by the assault.
"There is a big fear factor within the area now, particularly among pensioners, and we have been visiting them to provide reassurance. But when something like this happens it is hard for people not to feel a bit frightened," he said.
"It is hard to believe that a quiet man who kept himself to himself could fall foul of a gang of young hoods who beat him so badly he is now in hospital with a blood clot on his brain."
Police are appealing for information about the assault and want anyone who was in the area between midnight and 3am last Saturday to contact CID on 0845 600 8000.
Information about crime can also be passed anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.