'horrific injuries' | 

Criminal who bit and severed garda’s finger was high on cocaine, benzos and cannabis

“This is a horrific incident for everyone involved including the guard’s family as I understand these are very significant injuries.”

The officer is being treated in James Connolly Hospital

Alan Sherry and Ken FoySunday World

A criminal high on a cocktail of cocaine, cannabis and benzodiazepines bit a garda and severed his finger as he was being arrested following a crash in Dublin on Saturday morning.

The garda, who is a member of the roads policing unit, had to get the top of his finger stitched back on and also suffered a fractured finger in the incident descried as “horrific and shocking” by colleagues.

Gardai were responding to reports of a man driving at speed and crashing into a car and bollards at Gulliver’s Retail Park in Santry around 11.30am when the incident occurred.

Gardai suspected by his demeanour that he had taken drugs and he became violent as gardai went to arrest him.

A drugs swab tested positive for cocaine, cannabis and benzodiazepines.

The man bit the top of a garda’s index finger which was understood to have been severely damaged.

The arrested man is from the Finglas area of Dublin and has convictions for violent offences.

“The member of An Garda Síochána was taken to James Connolly Hospital to be treated for their injuries which are understood to be serious but non-life threatening,” a garda spokesperson said.

“A man in his 30s was arrested and was brought to Ballymun Garda station where he is currently detained.”

Sources said the garda had to have the top of his finger stitched back on in hospital. He is also believed to have suffered a fractured finger in the incident.

Doctors will now have to see if the finger refuses properly but it is understood the garda was released from hospital on Saturday evening.

Garda Damian McCarthy of the Garda Representative Association described the incident as “shocking and horrific”.

“This is a horrific incident for everyone involved including the guard’s family as I understand these are very significant injuries.

“These are very, very serious and horrific injuries which will have a profound impact on the guard and his family and his garda colleagues who were present and whom responded. It’s a clear indication of the type of violence and aggression that gardai are experiencing all too frequently. This is becoming all too common.”

Garda McCarthy had only spoken out on Thursday about the worrying rise in attacks on gardai in recent years.

He said there were 5,000 garda assaulted from 2016 to 2022 and the number of assaults annually increased from 700 in that period to around 1,000 a year in for the past two years.

“It is unquestionable that the level of violence that gardai are facing has increased dramatically.

“This attack this morning is another prime example of where the system is failing for guards and equally for the communities we are serving it is not good enough to have a reduced service. It’s not fair to the existing guards and the communities we serve.”

He called on the Government to set up a taskforce to examine issues facing gardai including recruitment and retention of gardai.

“We have to have Government intervention. The Minister and Taoiseach have to sit down and see what is happening in An Garda Siochana. Obviously, things are not good and the GRA have been raising this for a number of years and it’s falling on deaf ears.

“There has obviously been a reduced visibility of garda in our communities.”

The attacker was being held at Ballymun garda station last night.

Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed this incident to come forward. Any road users who were in the area at between 10:30am and noon yesterday who may have camera footage (including dash cam) is asked to make it available to investigating Gardaí.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Ballymun Garda station on 01 666 4400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

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