Thugs brutally attack vulnerable man at Dart station
The victim, who is aged in his 20s, suffered a broken nose and two black eyes in the sickening robbery in which his mobile phone was snatched.
Gardai have yet to make arrests in the case but have identified three suspects, a man in his 30s and two women, one also in her 30s and another aged 18.
The CCTV images which have been exclusively obtained by the Herald show the attack that happened at Bray Dart station at 6pm on Monday, April 4.
The victim’s father last night told the Herald that his son normally leaves the train with the crowd, but he was trying to help a man in a wheelchair get off and was set upon as he left the station alone.
The disturbing CCTV images show the young victim being approached by a male who proceeds to forcefully put his right hand into the vulnerable man’s pocket.
The cowardly gang then gather around the young man, who tries to flee.
A young woman attempts to prevent the male thug from attacking the victim, but he repeatedly strikes him in the face with vicious blows.
He then launches a full force kick to the victim’s face while he is on his knees pleading not to be hit any more.
As the shocked victim leans against a wall covering his face, a female member of the gang begins to search his pockets, and ultimately his mobile phone is stolen. It has not been recovered.
It can also be clearly seen that four members of the public walk by without offering any help to the vulnerable victim.
The victim was attended to by paramedics at the scene of the assault.
Speaking from their home in Wicklow, the victim’s worried father said his son has been left severely shaken by the unprovoked incident.
In an emotional interview, he said he has been going on the train with his son because he will no longer travel on his own.
“He’s autistic, a timid lad and would be nervous,” said the man, who wished to remain anonymous to protect his son’s identity.
“He’s kind of always been a bit bullied and had a tough time when he was growing-up.
“He was always brought up to do the right thing – when travelling, move up to the front of the train.
“He and another man were trying to help the man in the wheelchair on the platform by getting attention from some staff.
“That meant that he was last to leave the station. When he was leaving the station he went out the laneway.”
It was at that moment that the lowlife attackers set upon him.
The male suspect is originally from south Dublin but is now living in Bray. He is known to gardai for involvement in drugs and violent street crime.
The older of the two females lives in the Shankill area. The teenage female is believed to live in Bray.
All three are known to be travelling regularly along the Dart line between Donabate and Bray.
The victim’s family have now called on the new Government and Irish Rail to reconsider the layout of the laneway that passengers use to enter and exit the platform.
The young man’s anxious father said he would like to see extra security on trains and for the laneway to be rebuilt.
“We’ve been talking to CIE and getting on to them about opening up that laneway because it’s a concrete wall and you can’t see what’s happening around you,” he said.
“We want a half-wall with a railing. We just want something done after this.
“If the politicians and the public transport operators want people to use these facilities, they should be safe.
“They should make these facilities safe for people to travel on.
“There doesn’t seem to be much security – I don’t see security like there used to be.”
A psychologist who specialises in autism has warned that ruthless thugs can easily spot vulnerabilities in people.
Arlene Naughton said such a horrific attack could have a severe impact on somebody with autism.
“Having somebody attack you for absolutely no reason is going to be extremely difficult to comprehend,” she said.
Ken Foy and Martin Grant