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Police appeal for calm after attack

A teenager injured by a hammer-wielding attacker on The Glebe Road in Pembroke on Wednesday evening had gone to the area “to participate in antisocial behaviour”, according to police.

A 34-year-old male from Pembroke taken into custody by detectives investigating the incident has been released on police bail pending further inquiries..

The 18-year-old victim was initially in critical condition at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, after being hit in the head with a hammer at around 5.45pm near the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

He was knocked unconscious during the assault, suffering what are believed to be extensive head injuries.

The victim's condition has improved and last night the hospital confirmed he had been flown overseas for further treatment.

Yesterday, a police spokesman said that the attack took place after a “heated verbal altercation” escalated into physical violence.

“Apparently the injured teenager attended the area with other young people to participate in antisocial behaviour organised through social media,” the spokesman said.

“As a result, police are appealing to those involved not to retaliate or escalate their antisocial behaviour.

“Whilst police acknowledge that the investigation is in its early stages, initial accounts indicate that the incident involved participants engaged in a heated verbal altercation which appears to have escalated into objects being thrown by parties in the area.”

The spokesman added that CCTV footage and forensic evidence from the scene had been collected for examination.

Reports from members of the public have suggested that several men wearing dark helmets attacked the victim in the middle of the street.

One eyewitness said that “blood was flowing down the street” as the victim lay unconscious in the middle of the road.

“I was sitting outside, looked to my left, and saw the young man walking across the street,” the witness, who asked not to be named, said.

“My attention was distracted by something to my right, and when I looked back up the hill, he was lying flat down in the middle of the road.”

The witness said he then rushed to assist the victim.

“I placed my hand on his heart to see if he was still alive — it was still beating,” he said. “I knew he was alive but there was a lot of blood. It was flowing down the street in a line.

“By this time a crowd had gathered, standing around him trying to comfort him. Someone asked if anyone had called 911. Obviously someone had because the police then arrived.”

The witness said he was a friend of the victim's parents and, once police arrived, he left the scene in an attempt to alert family members.

Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley said the attack “raised concerns” about the level of violence on the Island.

“Any time there is a situation like that, it continues to raise concerns about antisocial behaviour and the level it's gotten to,” he said.

“I think that other than that, it's way too premature to say anything. It just happened early in the evening last night, the police are investigating, and I have every confidence in the police to get to the bottom of this. Their record has proven very successful and they are very proactive in dealing with it. They leave no stone unturned, so let's let them get on with it.

“The last thing is I want to send out my best wishes to the young man that was attacked in this incident and I'm hoping he has a full and speedy recovery.”

Pembroke East Central MP Michael Weeks also expressed his concern, and visited the scene after the incident.

“Our children are living in fear, losing hope that there is a place for them in Bermuda and dying in our streets,” he said. “I was in the area immediately after this latest incident and our people see no end to this. I'm saddened yet I am still hopeful that together we can find a solution. My prayers and thoughts are with the victim and his family.”

Detectives are continuing to appeal for witnesses or anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity to contact the Hamilton Criminal Investigation Unit on 247-1744 or the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline on 800-8477.

Incident: A hammer lies in the middle of The Glebe Road, Pembroke, after a teenager was attacked on Wednesday evening.

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Published October 25, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm)

Police appeal for calm after attack

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