A 17-YEAR-OLD boy is in a critical condition in hospital after a vicious attack in Sherdley Park last night.
Emergency services found the boy with serious head injuries and another teenage boy with facial injuries near to the pets corner area of the park at about 8pm.
Police say five boys - one aged 15, two 16 and two 17 - all from St Helens have been arrested in connection with the attack.
Detectives say there was a large group of girls and boys in the park "both prior to the incident and at around the time of the assault".
They add that the park was "very busy that evening" and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
Today (Friday) officers have been carrying out searches of the park in a bid to secure forensic evidence and have stepped up patrols in the area.
Superintendent Peter Edge said: "This was a vicious assault which appears to have been unprovoked. Merseyside Police is committed to keeping our parks and open spaces safe for everyone who wants to enjoy them.
"Violence will not be tolerated and we would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed this incident to come forward.
"It appears that the offenders may have been with a larger group of people. It may be that some individuals in that group may not have been a part of this dreadful act, which has left a boy in a critical condition.
"I would urge those people to do the right thing and tell us what they know. We are determined to find those responsible and local people should be reassured that we are carrying out extensive enquiries.
"We know the value of our parks as a local facility and we will have a highly visible presence in this area in the coming days and weeks as part of our local policing plan to help combat crime and anti-social behaviour."
One of the 16-year-olds arrested by police has been released without charge.
- Any witnesses and anyone with information in relation to the incident are asked to call St Helens CID via 0151 709 6010 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- Police would like to speak with anyone who was in the park between 7.30pm and 8.30pm who may have information which could help with their enquiries.
- DO you know what happened in the park? Contact the newsdesk via email
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