'We feared being stabbed', says US tourist caught in north Dublin mob attack
A US tourist has spoken of his terror after a group of knife-wielding thugs savagely attacked him and his girlfriend as her 80-year-old grandmother looked on.
Ryan Dillon (28), Nicole Berube (25) and her grandmother Elaine Berube had only been in the country a few short hours when the brutal assault occurred.
The couple, who are from Boston, said they made the trip with the elderly woman because she had always dreamed of visiting her ancestral homeland.
However, what was to be a "once in a lifetime trip" turned into a hellish holiday ordeal last Saturday week as the group were set upon in a north Dublin park shortly after 8.30pm.
Ryan was hospitalised after he was attacked by a group of eight thugs who left him with a shattered shoulder.
After landing earlier in the day, the trio went for a walk in Swords town near their hotel.
They discovered Swords Castle and were taking a number of pictures when a man in his late 20s or early 30s approached.
"A guy came up happy and smiling and asked could we take a picture with him," explained Ryan. "All day everyone was so friendly that it didn't seem out of the ordinary at all.
READ MORE: Tourist has shoulder broken in mugging
"As soon as we had taken the picture another kid ran by and grabbed my girlfriend's bag."
Ryan gave chase as the bag contained his partner's wallet, credit card and all of her cash.
He managed to tackle him but before he knew it there was eight youths on top of him pummelling him.
"They were punching me and kicking me in the head," he recalls. "My girlfriend managed to pull one of them off and they started attacking her as well, she got punched in the stomach."
Ryan managed to get to his feet but just as he did one of his attackers produced a knife and threatened them.
"It was just terrifying, we both thought we were going to get stabbed," he said.
The trio started running but were chased by the assailants to a nearby pub where people inside called gardai.
A man was arrested in Swords at 11pm last Saturday night but was later released without charge.
Ryan was taken to Beaumont Hospital where he was kept for the night for observation.
He says despite his injuries he is doing his best to enjoy their 11-day holiday that will see them do a loop of the country.
"It has been tough," he said. "It was really traumatic."
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