A teenager who is the only suspect in a stabbing attack on a 65-year-old man assaulted a garda while in custody on Wednesday night.
Stab victim Peter Kennedy (65) was still clinging to life last night after being transferred to Beaumont Hospital from Naas General to be treated for "catastrophic" injuries after being stabbed in the head, neck and face.
The 19-year-old suspected of inflicting the life-threatening injuries on Mr Kennedy in his home was arrested in the Walkinstown area of Dublin on Wednesday afternoon and taken to Newbridge Garda Station, where he remained last night.
The Herald can reveal the "completely unco-operative and extremely volatile" prisoner assaulted a male garda in the station at around 9pm that night.
"The male garda was bringing the suspect, who has not been co-operative, back to his cell when out of nowhere he punched the officer in the face," a senior source said.
"It was a pretty bad assault, and originally it was feared the garda had suffered severe facial injuries.
"He was brought to the acci- dent and emergency unit at Naas Hospital, but thankfully he has only suffered bruising to his face and nothing was broken.
"The suspect, who is an extremely volatile young man, was restrained and questioning of him continued throughout Thursday."
The Herald revealed yesterday that an older woman, who is very well-known to the suspect, had been staying in the victim's house.
Retired Department of Justice employee Mr Kennedy was attacked in a bedroom of his home.
It has emerged that gardai discovered signs of a break-in at the property.
The suspect had previously stayed there after Mr Kennedy "took him in" because he was homeless.
However, sources said the teenager's increasingly erratic behaviour had made him no longer welcome.
Investigations have also established that the suspect travelled to the scene of the crime in a taxi.
Despite extensive searches, the weapon used in the attack has still not been recovered.