herald

Tuesday 19 September 2017

I was beaten up, robbed and stoned by teen gang

Taste of Dublin barman Leon Redlinski who was beaten and robbed by a gang of teens in Fingals on his way home from work at the event
Taste of Dublin barman Leon Redlinski who was beaten and robbed by a gang of teens in Fingals on his way home from work at the event
Leon Redlinski
The type of bike taken from Leon during the attack

A Dublin cyclist was left with serious head wounds after being stoned and beaten in a brutal attack by a teenage mob.

The group of seven thugs hit barman Leon Redlinski with his bike lock and punched and kicked him before making off with his wallet and bicycle.

The terrifying ordeal took place in Jamestown Road, ­Finglas as Mr Redlinski was returning home early on Monday morning after working at the Taste Of Dublin festival.

As he rode by the gang, they shouted at him for cigarettes and then tried to pull him from his bike, Mr Redlinski said.

When he told them he did not smoke and pedalled on past them, he was hit on the back by a stone.

Vicious

It was then after he got off his bike to confront his attackers that they surrounded him and launched a vicious assault.

He later received stitches for a deep gash to his forehead and also suffered a fractured cheekbone and bruising to his head.

Mr Redlinski says there were seven males, who looked to be aged between 14 to 17, who carried out the attack. Gardai have now launched an investigation into the incident.

"I was just finished four days of 14-hour shifts," Mr Redlinski told the Herald. "It happened just around the corner from my house, a few minutes away.

"They tried to pull me over asking for smokes and when I said I don't use any and rode past them, one of them hurled a stone at my back causing me to stop and dismount from the bike," Mr Redlinski said.

"While I was facing my attacker another young man following shortly after the main party grabbed a hold of my bike and started cycling away."

Mr Redlinski tried to regain possession of his bike but was surrounded by the youths.

They began to punch and kick him, grabbed his bag and "ripped" his bike lock off him, bashing him over the head.

Mr Redlinski said he managed to wrestle back the bike lock and used it to defend himself, backing up against a property on the street.

His attackers then fled with his wallet and bike.

He rang himself an ambulance and was taken to the Mater Hospital where he received treatment for his injuries.

Mr Redlinski, who has lived in the area for 15 years, advised people to "stay away from opportunists out on the prowl".

"I jog regularly and there's never been a problem in the world," he said. "But no one should be intimidated near their own property. I was coming from such a positive atmosphere, I wasn't going to take it." However, he admitted: "I think I was really, really fortunate".

Despite having martial arts training, Mr Redlinski said that in these situations, "there is nothing you can do" and urged people to be vigilant "no matter how confident you feel".

Spineless

"Numbers will always bear down on you and though it is spineless, cowardly and hyena-pack tactics, it is also supremely efficient and dangerous," he added.

Mr Redlinski said he was humbled by all the messages of support he has received, saying they reflect how "tightly woven" the community is, many people checking their CCTV footage for him.

He has just completed the paperwork to become an Irish citizen but said the incident would not change his mind.

A Garda spokesperson said an investigation was ongoing and that so far no arrests had been made.

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