A CONSTRUCTION worker, aged 19, was left in a coma, after being dragged from a café in Carvalhal (south of Lisbon) into the street and beaten about the head and body with clubs by a 20-strong gang from Costa da Caparica.
After receiving emergency medical treatment at the scene for an hour-and-a-half, the teenager was taken by helicopter to Almada’s Hospital Garcia de Orta. The gang has reportedly threatened to return to the village of Carvalhal and inhabitants are living in an atmosphere of terror.
According to the boy’s friends, on the night previous to the attack, he was in a bar in Carvalhal and had taken exception when some of the gang members “messed” with his girlfriend. After demanding an apology, he became involved in a fight with five of them. The gang returned the following evening with reinforcements.
According to eyewitnesses, the group of about 20 youths arrived on Avenida 18 de Dezembro armed with pistols, knives and clubs, threatening passers-by. A group of eight then went into the café and dragged the boy from his table into the street, where the rest of the gang were waiting. A friend of the victim said: “When I arrived, I saw my friend being kicked and hit about the head by a large gang with clubs. I would not want my worst enemy to suffer what he suffered.”
Police investigations into the incident are continuing but, so far, no arrests have been made due to difficulties in identifying the aggressors. Meanwhile, relatives of the teenager have complained about the GNR’s response, stating that when the nearest police stations at Comportana and Tróia were called, officers refused to attend the scene due to a shortage of resources. Relatives allege that officers were eventually dispatched from Grândola, but took “a good 40 minutes to arrive”. A GNR source from Comportana denied any lack of response, saying that “we were the first to arrive” at the scene of the attack.
At the time of going to press, the teenager was still in hospital.