A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on a litany of offences after a car drove through a band parade in Rathfriland on Friday night.
Police investigating the incident, which took place at Newry Street, say they have arrested a 16-year-old male.
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Chief Inspector Barney O’Connor said: “Last night at approximately 8:40pm, a black Seat Leon failed to stop, a number of times, for police who were on duty in connection with a band parade in Rathfriland.
“This vehicle then drove into the parade as it made its way up Newry Street. One man aged in his 40s and one man aged in his 30s received minor injuries following the incident.
“The male, has been arrested on suspicion of six counts of dangerous driving, six counts for failing to stop for police, aggravated taking and driving away, disqualified driving, no insurance and three counts of failing to stop and report and remain at an injury road traffic collision. He was also arrested on suspicion of two counts of common assault and other related offences. He remains in police custody at this time.
At this stage, we are not investigating a sectarian hate crime motive in relation to this incident.
“Our officers are continuing to robustly investigate the circumstances of this incident. Officers have already spoken to a number of those present and I know this has been alarming for all those involved. I would like to thank those in the community and those involved from the band, who have already come forward, for their cooperation and assistance.
“I would still appeal to anyone who witnessed the incident or who may have footage taken to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 1633 17/09/21. Alternatively, a report can be made online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ . You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/.”
Ulster Unionist leader, and Upper Bann MLA Doug Beattie, commented: “What an absolute disgrace. This person is lucky nobody was hurt [last night], I believe there are also a number of children in this band, hope they are all OK.
TUV leader Jim Allister said: “There is palpable anger across the unionist community following last night’s outrageous incident in Rathfriland in which a car was driven into two bands.
“This is entirely understandable as we could very well be waking up to news of many people injured or worse.
“The shocking behaviour captured on film needs to result in a robust PSNI investigation and arrest.”
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