A MAN has been arrested after a police officer was brutally attacked while attempting to break up a fight at a takeaway.
The male officer and his colleague were called to a fight between two men at a takeaway in Banbridge, Co. Down at around 11pm last night (July 10).
As the PSNI officers spoke to both men separately, one of them lashed out and attacked the officer, who was kicked in the face and bitten on the shoulder during the incident in Newry Street.
He was also choked by the man, with his injuries leaving him unable to speak at present.
When other officers arrived to provide assistance, they too were attacked with one officer being headbutted and another bitten on the arm, the PSNI confirmed today.
A man has since been arrested on suspicion of offences including assault, assault on police, non-fatal strangulation and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.
He remains in police custody at present.
Speaking this afternoon, Chief Inspector Brendan Green said: “It is appalling that any police officer should be subjected to such brutality whilst simply doing their job.
“We are supporting them following this very difficult experience and providing the appropriate care and welfare support.”
He added: “This horrible incident just shows the often grim reality of what our officers on the ground are facing each and every day.
“While we come to work knowing we could be faced with difficult and dangerous situations, it is completely unacceptable that our officers should be physically assaulted, and such attacks will not be tolerated.”
On June 26, non-fatal strangulation or asphyxiation became a specific criminal offence in Northern Ireland under the Justice Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims Act NI 2022.
If convicted it is an offence punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment.
Some 22 arrests have beeen made since the new legislation went live, with ten alleged perpetrators charged to date.