16-year-old arrested after Rathfriland parade incident

Police say they are 'not investigating a sectarian hate crime motive'

16-year-old arrested after Rathfriland parade incident

A car failed to stop during a band parade in Rathfriland on Friday night.

Staff reporter

Reporter:

Staff reporter

POLICE investigating the incident during last night's parade in Rathfriland have arrested a 16-year-old boy.

Chaos briefly consumed last night's (Friday) 40th anniversary parade of Moneyslane Flute Band as a car sped through the procession as it made its way up Newry Street in the town.

Members of Banbridge based Downshire Guiding Star Flute Band were disturbed by the motorist's actions, with two men sustaining minor injuries during the episode.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Chief Inspector Barney O’Connor confirmed a teenager had been arrested on a host of suspected offences

He 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 of 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."

Inspector O'Connor thanked those in the community who had come forward with information and said a "robust" investigation was being carried out.

And he also asked for more people to come forward with any information which may assist their investigation.

He said: “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/ .”

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