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Batley car ramming: police contradict far-right claim 'Muslim terrorists' ran soldier over outside club on New Year

Police investigating circumstances of deliberate attack as victim remains in hospital with serious injuries 

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Wednesday 02 January 2019 11:58 GMT
The man was struck outside the TBC nightclub in Batley
The man was struck outside the TBC nightclub in Batley (Google Streetview)

A soldier has been run over outside a nightclub in Yorkshire while celebrating the New Year.

The 21-year-old victim was struck at around 4.41am on New Year’s Day outside a club in Batley and remains in hospital in a “stable and conscious state”.

Tommy Robinson and other far-right figures have called the incident a “terrorist attack” and claimed the perpetrators were “Muslim”.

But West Yorkshire Police said there was no evidence to support allegations the man was targeted because of his service in the British Army.

A fundraising page repeating Robinson’s claims about how the attack unfolded has so far raised more than £1,000.

Chief Inspector Ben Ryder, said: “We would like to reassure service personnel that police have no evidence that the victim has been targeted due to his service in the army, or that it is motivated by racism.

“We remain open-minded and would urge anyone who witnessed the incident or has any further information to come forward to assist with our investigation.”

A woman who witnessed the ramming told the Examiner Live the victim had been with friends.

“When we got outside there were a load of people fighting, he was walking across the road and a black Mercedes flew past and hit him,” she added.

“He just flew up in the air. He flew into the concrete so he was grazed all over. Blood was coming from his nose and from a cut on his head.

“I was sat holding his head, trying to stop the bleeding. I thought he was going to die.”

Police said the incident started with an “altercation” inside the TBC nightclub between a group of men, which carried on outside the premises.

“A 21-year-old male was then knocked down by a blue Mercedes and seriously injured,” a statement said. “This incident is being treated as a serious assault.

“The blue Mercedes fled the scene but was later recovered by police. The victim is in a serious but stable and conscious state, talking to family at his bedside and when he is ready the police will be speaking to him.

“The full circumstances leading to the point at which the victim was struck by the vehicle are under investigation.”

A 27-year-old man from Dewsbury has been arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent.

The incident came hours after a man shouting “long live the caliphate” and “Allahu akbar” launched a stabbing attack in Manchester.

The suspect was detained under the Mental Health Act and police are treating the incident, which left three people injured, as a terror attack.

Anyone with any information on the Batley attack is asked to contact the police via 101 quoting crime reference number 13190000498 or information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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