Pitbull unleashed on skaters in vicious attack
PUBLISHED: 13:26 29 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:21 07 September 2010
A gang of thugs unleashed a pitbull terrier on a group of innocent skaters in a vicious attack outside Alexandra Palace rail station. A manhunt is now under way for the four youths wanted in connection with the incident which happened earlier this month.
A gang of thugs unleashed a pitbull terrier on a group of innocent skaters in a vicious attack outside Alexandra Palace rail station.
A manhunt is now under way for the four youths wanted in connection with the incident which happened earlier this month.
British Transport Police released these CCTV images after the horrific assault at around 11.20pm on Saturday, August 9.
Nine 15-year-old friends were set upon by the gang after they had enjoyed a night at the ice rink nearby.
Two of them were robbed and suffered injuries in the attack.
One of the alleged culprits, who is thought to be in his late teens or early 20s, had brought a brown and white pitbull terrier with him and ordered it to attack.
He is described as black, 5ft 8ins, of stocky build, clean shaven, with scarring on his forehead.
One victim was bitten by the dog on both of his arms, suffering puncture wounds and bruising. He was also punched in the head by the youth.
Another victim was punched in the face by the same man, causing a cut above his left eyebrow which required four stitches.
Det Con Jon Howlett, of the Transport Police, said: "This was a cruel and vicious attack on a group of youngsters who were simply out having fun.
"In this case, a pet dog has been used as a weapon to inflict harm on innocent people, which is not only incredibly frightening and dangerous for the victims, but also cruel to the animal. Anyone involved in this attack would do well to hand themselves in."
The fracas began when a 15-year-old girl among the friends was verbally abused by a teenage boy at the ice rink.
He is described as 15 or 16 years old, 5ft 9ins, possibly mixed race, with a lisp or slight stutter.
When the group left the ice rink at around 11pm, they were confronted by the same youth, who had been joined by around 30 others. The group of youths followed them to the station.
A confrontation ensued on the platform, involving between five and eight members of the larger group and the youth who had been at the ice rink.
Two victims were robbed of various items, including mobile phones, jewellery and ice skates. Both required treatment at Barnet General Hospital.
Pitbulls were historically used for dog fighting and the term includes many breeds such as the American pitbull terrier and the Staffordshire bull terrier.
In February this year figures revealed the number of people treated for dog bites in hospitals has risen by 40 per cent over the past four years.
Many London councils fear young men buy dangerous dogs as a status symbol but pitbull fans disagree that the dogs are dangerous.
A website dedicated to pitbulls says: "The pitbull is blessed with tenacious athletic ability (the ultimate super dog), loyalty, intelligence, and high energy. These dogs are not lap dogs or a dog for the lazy person.
"They are not fashion accessories or macho-tough-guy symbols. American pitbull terriers are a breed apart from every other canine on earth.
"No other breed in history has been so misunderstood or made the villain as long or as often as the pitbull. Sadly, these trends continue 20 years after they started."
Anyone with information about the incident should contact the Transport Police on Freephone 0800 405040.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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