Rampaging teens hurt in crash

SEVEN SMASH UP CARS WITH BASEBALL BATS

MARIA PEPPER

A GANG of out-of-control Wexford teenagers were hospitalised last weekend after crashing into a ditch while fleeing from a pub car park where they went on the rampage in the middle of the night, smashing windscreens with baseball bats.

The teenagers from the Wexford area, aged between 17 and 19 and including three girls, caused a total of €13,000 worth of damage to nine cars in the car park of the Halfway House in Ballycogley in the early hours of last Sunday.

Baseball bats and balaclavas were recovered after they were apprehended following a chase by gardai along a country road near the pub.

The cars belonged to customers who were given lifts home by staff. The owners could hardly believe the scene of destruction when they arrived to collect the vehicles in the morning. GARDAÍ received a report of 'suspicious activity' in the car park at about 3 a.m. and were given a description of a car which had left the scene. Officers found the car crashed in a ditch a short distance from the pub. The teenagers tried to run away but were chased on foot and apprehended. A number of them sustained minor injuries in the crash and were brought to Wexford General Hospital by ambulance. None was seriously injured.

The owner of the Halway House, Stephen Murray, said staff alerted the gardaí after the young people were spotted in the car park when everyone had left.

He said the pub is used to dealing with incidents but after approaching the teenagers, the staff felt it would be unsafe and went back inside.

'Let's say they weren't very pleasant and we knew they were up to no good so we decided to call the gardaí,' he said.

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