Three police agents had to be treated in hospital after annual summer party celebrations in an outer Lisbon borough turned ugly in the early hours of Monday morning.
According to reports, four agents drafted in for the event were surrounded and “brutally attacked with stones, kicks and punches”.
One of the agents remains in hospital after surgery to repair his broken jaw.
Says tabloid Correio da Manhã, 33-year-old agent Fernandes was hit by one of the many stones thrown at police as ‘Festas do Catujal’ became a “battleground”.
Questions now are being asked as to why only four agent were sent into the event in the first place.
As it was, police in full riot gear were swiftly called in and the mob that involved around 30 young men dispersed.
Only two people were “intercepted by police”, reports Correio da Manhã – one of a man who already had a warrant out for his arrest.
“The other was the subject of a house search where police found a sawn-off shotgun and 47 cartridges”.
But as neither man was “caught in flagrante”, they were not arrested.
President of the professional syndicate of police Mário Andrade “lamented the incident”, adds CM, saying: “The nomination of police for this kind of service should be evaluated taking context and circumstances into account”.
Agents should also be “properly equipped” to deal with outbreaks of violence.
Andrade suggests the attacked agents’ chiefs should be made responsible for “not having created conditions of safety” for them.
The violence is understood to have “erupted” after one partygoer “insulted and threatened” the agents.
The mob formed within seconds, says CM.
PSP police command has nonetheless said it is “focused on identifying all the people involved in the violent aggressions”.