Teenager assaulted in ‘sectarian motivated hate crime’ in south Belfast

Boy was subjected to abuse before being punched in the face, police say

epa07261133 (FILE) - Northern Ireland's PSNI crest outside Antrim police station in Antrim, Northern Ireland, 02 May 2014 (reissued 04 January 2019). British media reports on 04 January 2019 state Police Service of Northern Ireland, PSNI has asked up to 1,000 officers to be deployed in Northern Ireland as a reinforcement in case of a no-deal Brexit. Authorities fear violence could occur if a hard border will be established between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland.  EPA/PAUL MCERLANE

A teenage boy was assaulted in south Belfast in what police are treating as a “sectarian motivated hate crime”.

The incident occurred in Ormeau Park at around 8.30pm on Wednesday evening when the boy was cycling in the area and approached by a group of other males, also on bikes.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “One of the males was reported to have directed sectarian abuse towards him, before punching him in the face, resulting in an eye injury.

“The assailant was said to have been wearing a jacket with the hood pulled up, and dark coloured trousers and trainers.

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“An investigation into the incident, which we are treating as a sectarian motivated hate crime, is under way, and we are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time and saw what happened, to get in touch.

“The number to call is 101, quoting reference number 1795 of 29/05/24.” – PA