The Malta Independent 20 November 2018, Tuesday

Paceville incident much worse than what police said in statement – eyewitnesses

Monday, 14 September 2015, 07:46 Last update: about 4 years ago

A Libyan youth, 22, ran amok in a dark Paceville alley early yesterday and ran slashing at the people he met with a knife he carried, making it a worse incident than what was described in a police statement, eyewitnesses said.

People on the scene said he hit, unprovoked, at 25 people, shouting obscenities in Maltese with a Libyan accent against the Maltese people.

In their statement issued a few hours after, the police said that a Dutchman is in critical condition after injuries he sustained following an argument.

“There was no argument,” eyewitnesses said. “The man just started to slash out at people without provocation”.

Six men – three Dutch, aged between 18 and 19, two Libyans aged 31 and 38 and a Maltese man from Kirkop, aged 29, were taken to hospital for treatment.

The 18-year-old Dutchman was found to be in critical condition, while the others sustained grievous injuries. But the incident involved more than six people, the eyewitnesses said, adding that some 25 were “attacked” by the Libyan youngster, who was caught later by the police.

The Maltese man is Richard Galea from Kirkop whose face was slashed from cheekbone to mouth and who lost a large amount of blood. He was still in hospital yesterday evening, suffering from shock.

His friend, Nicole Ghio from Zurrieq, said they were walking along the alley when this man came running up shouting obscenities in Maltese in a Libyan accent.

Before and after he injured Mr Galea, the man had struck and hit others.

The scene at Mater Dei’s Emergency was a nightmarish one, with so many injured people coming in that they had to call in nurses from home. There were not enough ambulances and some people went to the hospital in private cars.

Ironically, there are usually police stationed in that area but they were reported to have gone to tackle a fight further up.

The man had fled the scene by the time the police arrived, but he was later caught by officers. 

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