‘Gang stamped on my head while my boys watched’

A DAD-OF-THREE who was savagely attacked by a gang of thugs after trying to stop them destroying a bin has said he is ‘boiling’ with rage.

People in Carterton were sickened by the violent assault on 55-year-old Daryl Armstrong on Friday afternoon in a park off Alvescot Road.

He was ambushed by a gang of 15-to-20 youths who pinned him to the ground, kicked him, punched him and left ‘a shoe print mark’ on his head.

Mr Armstrong, who works as an electrical engineer, moved with his family from Reading to Carterton in 2011.

He was having a relaxing afternoon with his wife Linda and two young sons, who are eight and ten, at the recreation ground near their home, when he spotted a teenager kicking a dog waste bin.

The 55-year-old said he yelled at the lout to stop causing damage to public property several times before the boy turned around and started swinging his fists in Mr Armstrong’s direction.

Oxford Mail:

Within moments, a whole gang of youths who were also at the park came running to the scene and joined the brawl.

His sons were forced to witness their dad being savagely beaten up, while his wife Linda tried to push the vile thugs away.

Thankfully, his young daughter was not there to see the attack.

He said: “I tried to stand up and defend myself, I kept trying to grab them but there were too many.

“I did not even see the other attackers arrive, just felt all of them around me, kicking me.”

The thugs stamped on his head, and one of his eyes was severely bruised.

He said: “It wasn’t until a group of RAF blokes who were outside of the social club saw what was happening and ran over in my direction that they stopped and bolted.

“I don’t know how long the attack would have lasted otherwise.”

While most of the yobs quickly fled on their bikes, when police officers arrived at the scene they found one teenager hiding in nearby bushes.

The 16-year-old from Carterton was questioned and arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but has since been released under investigation.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Armstrong suffered facial injuries, including deep cuts and bruises, and needed hospital treatment, but has since been discharged.

Mrs Armstrong, who works as a carer, was also pushed to the ground and has painful bruises and grazes on her hands and knees.

Mr Armstrong said: “Mentally, I am boiling – I have fire inside me but I have to let the police work on the case so this can go to court.

“I am not scared for myself but for my three kids, as these thugs can come after them.”

Since Friday Mr Armstrong has taken to Facebook to spread awareness of the savage attack and warns locals about the gang.

He said his family had received ‘great support’ from kind people in Carterton and even businesses like Burford Fish Bar had been in touch to offer a complimentary dinner.

However, Mr Armstrong also claimed that many residents have been in touch to tell him about similar incidents that this ‘notorious gang of thugs’ had been part of.

Oxford Mail:

He said: “They are well-known in Carterton and are giving all the teenagers here a bad name.

“People in town are fed up with them as they continuously terrorise the whole community.”

Thames Valley Police is now appealing for witnesses to the incident.

Detective Sergeant Rob Hughes, based at Witney Police Station, said: “I am appealing for anybody who witnessed this incident or has captured mobile phone or other footage to please get in touch with police.

“You can do so by calling 101, or by making a report online, quoting reference 43200159412.”

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