Widespread outrage followed the news that a gang of youths pushed a pensioner into Craigavon lake.
Described as ‘reprehensible’ by the Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, Darryn Causby, it transpired that the elderly man could not swim.
Passers-by went to the man’s aid and rescued him from the cold waters of the lake, where he had been quietly fishing.
Police said they are hunting for the gang of youths responsible for the unprovoked attack.
Constable Sam Bennett explained: “Around 8.45pm on Friday, 24 July, a 72 year old man was fishing at the lake when he was pushed into the water by a group of youths.
“The man cannot swim and was helped from the water by passers-by.
“The man sustained injuries to his torso,” said the police constable.
The Lord Mayor said: “My thoughts are with the injured gentleman, I hope he makes a speedy recovery.
“The activities of these youths is beyond reprehensible, and I would encourage anyone who has any information about this incident to come forward and speak to the police. Thousands of people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities use the lakes every week – cyclists, runners, walkers, fishermen, and watersports users – and this is the first time we have heard of anything like this happening since the lakes were created,” the Lord Mayor said.
The public vented their outrage on the Portadown Times Facebook page.
“Disgusting,” wrote Marie Howard. “Whoever did this is a disgrace.”
Meanwhile, Laura Cully Brown asked, “What kind of world do we live in?”
Ruth Cloughley commented, “This is horrendous. I hope he recovers soon. What a traumatic experience for him and his family.”
Police said: “We would like to hear from anyone who witnessed this incident or has information in relation to it. We can be contacted in Portadown on 101, quoting ref: 519 250715.”