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Two men fined after St Helens town centre 'disturbance'
11:55am Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
TWO men were arrested after skirmishes broke out in St Helens town centre during a busy lunch time.
Police confirmed the men, aged 40 and 45, were held on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly, following a disturbance at the junction of Barrow Street and Ormskirk Street.
Shocked witnesses say groups of men hurled abuse at each other before punches were thrown.
An ambulance was already at the scene when the witness says a fracas broke out. There are unconfirmed reports that people already in or beside the vehicle then tried to join in the ugly scenes.
What exactly sparked the unrest is not clear at this stage. Police confirmed officers were initially called to the town centre 11.50am on Tuesday to reports a pedestrian was injured after being in collision with a black car.
The car failed to stop at the scene, say police.
Police and paramedics attended and found a man, believed to be in his 40s, with a leg injury.
But he refused treatment and would not provide a statement to the police.
An hour later officers were called to Barrow Street to a report of a number of men being “involved in an altercation”.
Two men were arrested and taken into custody and before being issued with fixed penalty notices.
Merseyside Police has played down the incident as a “minor” but onlookers who the Star spoke to were disgusted by the scenes.
They could not confirm whether the incident involving the car and the street skirmishes were linked.
The violence happened just weeks after a 17-year-old boy was head-butted in an alleged racially motivated attack on Ormskirk Street at a similar time of day. That attack is unrelated.
A woman, who asked not to be named, said: “We don’t want this kind of behaviour in St Helens town centre.
“Police can say it was minor all they like but there were three police cars and an ambulance called to the middle of town during half term week.
“There were a lot of children and pensioners looking on – and shop workers came out on to the street wondering what was going on.
“The groups were hurling abuse at each other and swearing. One shouted something like you ‘robbed from my house’ and they started fighting.
Another onlooker who witnessed 999 crews at the scene said: “It’s a shame because the town centre was really bustling with people.
“It seems to be on the up again with the number of shoppers visiting and we certainly don’t need this kind of behaviour as it just adds fuel to the critics who try to knock the town.”