Two male teens have been arrested in connection with the stabbing of a taxi driver and the attempted armed robbery and assault of a shopkeeper.
Gardai said one one of the suspects, a male in his late teens, was arrested last night while the other was arrested in the early hours of the morning.
At approximately 1.30am on Tuesday, a male taxi driver - aged in his 70s - picked up two males on Church St. and drove to Bloomfield Drive in Athlone.
The elderly man was threatened and assaulted by the passengers. He sustained 30 puncture marks to the neck and face and also received injuries to his hands when he was attacked with a knife.
The driver attempted to use the car’s intercom system, but he was stabbed in the hand before having a seat belt tied around his neck from behind.
While demanding the cash the youths repeatedly poked the driver with blades, causing numerous puncture wounds.
The two men took his entire takings as well as his watch before making their getaway.
Emergency services were called and the injured taxi driver was taken to Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe. He has since been discharged.
Later the following day, at around 5.45pm, three youths armed with a firearm and an iron bar entered a shop on Ballymahon Road in the town.
They threatened and assaulted a shop keeper in his 70s before leaving the scene on foot empty handed. The injured man was taken to Portiuncula Hospital where he was treated for head injuries. He was later discharged.
During a follow up operation yesterday, gardai in Athlone arrested three males aged in their late teens.
One of the males arrested yesterday has been released without charge. The other two suspects remain in custody.
The teens arrested have been conveyed to Athlone Garda Station and are detained under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act, 1939.