Fuel poured in hijacked vehicle and set alight in ‘terrifying ordeal’ for driver amid Derry rioting

There has now been disorder over three nights running in the Galliagh area of Derry. Credit: Presseye

Police have said hijackers subjected a truck driver to a “terrifying ordeal”, after they covered him in petrol in the process of setting the vehicle alight.

The driver and his passenger were lucky to escape without physical harm following the incident near the Galliagh roundabout at about 10.30pm on Wednesday.

A crowd of about 150 people gathered as firefighters and police attended the scene.

A number of missiles, including stones and bottles, were thrown at officers. A petrol bomb was also thrown, but failed to ignite.

A number of other hijackings or attempted hijackings were also carried out.


Timeline

  • 10.30pm – woman left badly shaken when young masked male armed with wheelbrace tries to take her black Kia at Galliagh Park

  • 12.40am – van hijacked in Fergleen Park area and set on fire

  • 2am – 20 masked individuals, some armed with metal bars, unsuccessfully try to take man’s car at Fairview Road


Police and ATO were also attacked as they attended the scene of a security alert in the Skeoge Road area of Derry.

A number of petrol bombs and paint bombs were thrown from Galliagh Park as they examined a suspicious object that turned out to be an elaborate hoax.

After three nights of violence, calls for calm are continuing.


I would urge anyone, including those who gathered to watch this disorder last night, to understand this is not entertainment. This is dangerous, reckless activity which has a significant impact on not only the people whose vehicles were targeted, but also on the local communities.

PSNI Chief Superintendent Emma Bond

PSNI Chief Superintendent Emma Bond, Derry & Strabane District Commander, said: “Yesterday, the world’s media was focused on the city as John Hume was laid to rest.

“The scenes in our communities last night are not representative of this city.

“I want to stress the disorder we have seen on our streets over the past few nights has been caused by a minority of people who have absolutely no regard for our communities being impacted, and the people who live here.”

Chief Superintendent Bond added: “I am urging those who have been engaged in this recent violence, and anyone tempted to become involved in this type of criminal behaviour, to stop and consider the consequences of their actions and desist immediately.”


My thoughts are with those impacted by these attacks and the people of Galliagh who are crying out for this activity to stop.

Aileen Mellon, Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin councillor Aileen Mellon said: “We have seen yet another night of trouble in Galliagh and more vehicles hijacked and burned.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that people are being terrorised and do not feel safe in their own community.”

Two boys, aged 14 and 15, have been arrested over rioting in Derry earlier this week.

They are both being held on suspicion of riotous behaviour and attempted criminal damage, while the 14-year-old is also suspected of possessing and throwing petrol bombs.

Police are urging those with influence in the community to help ensure the violence does not continue and say they are working towards identifying those involved and making more arrests.

“Our priority is keeping people safe,” Chief Superintendent Bond said.

“And I want to reassure the people of this city that our response, should there be any further disorder, will continue to be proportionate and we will deploy the necessary resources to detect and deter those responsible.”

Gareth Wilkinson reports: