Police are studying CCTV footage of an assault in Woodhouse Street on Sunday night which led to a 37-year-old man going to hospital after he was kicked in the head and back.
The Protestant man told the Portadown Times that he and his friends had been the victim of a sectarian attack in Woodhouse Street.
“It was a purely sectarian attack on our group – which included women and young people – and it was totally unprovoked with six or seven males assaulting us,” he said.
He added that he had been part of a group of families who had hired a 40-seater bus for a day out in Belfast. “We were left off at Northway near the train station and eight of us walked up Woodhouse to our cars which were parked in the town centre.”
At that stage, he went on, they were spotted by two men having a smoke outside a pub – “they were joined by others, and before I knew it, I was on the ground being kicked. I sustained bruises to my head and body.”
He added that a 19-year-old came to his aid, and that he went to hospital for a check-up after he managed to get away – “I had to be helped up the street.”
Police in Portadown are appealing for information. They said, “Around 7.30pm two males, aged 37 and 19 years old, were assaulted by a group of males. One of the assailants is described as having light brown hair and was wearing a blue polo shirt with a dark coloured collar and blue jeans. Another assailant is described as being bald, of heavy build with tattoos on his arms and was wearing a cream coloured top.
“Enquiries into this incident are ongoing and police are viewing CCTV as part of their investigation. The PSNI can be contacted on 0845 600 8000, or through the independent Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Alderman Sydney Anderson said that the attack was totally unprovoked, adding that Woodhouse Street had become a no-go area for the Protestant population. “This sort of thing doesn’t augur well for the £6m that’s being spent to upgrade the Public Park,” he claimed.
“The park and the area around it is supposed to become a shared space, but incidents like this are far from encouraging. I would appeal for this to stop immediately.”