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WATCH: Three Ellesmere Port men arrested in Liverpool following disturbance in Toxteth

Group of friends claim they were attacked by officers but police say they used 'reasonable force'

Three men from Ellesmere Port were arrested following a violent incident in Liverpool.

The men were among a group of four friends - Ryan Bowyer, 19, Jack Roberts, also 19, Damien Crawford, 22, and Brandon Barratt, 20 - from Ellesmere Port who were approached by police as they made their way across Greenheys Road after leaving the Africa Oye festival in Sefton Park at about 5pm on Sunday.

A Merseyside police spokesman said: “Merseyside Police can confirm that three men were arrested on Sunday evening following a disturbance on Greenheys Road in Toxteth and have since admitted public order and criminal damage offences.

“A police officer on his way to deal with a missing person report shortly after 6pm came across an altercation involving a group of men and stopped to intervene.

“One man in particular was acting aggressively and while the officer was speaking to the rest of the group, the man vandalised a telephone kiosk by punching through the glass window.

“The offender continued to behave aggressively so was detained and put into a police car where he became aggressive once again.

“The arresting officer called for assistance and other officers arrived to help take the offender out of the patrol car and into a police van.

“During this process the offender then became aggressive again and had to be restrained.

“A number of male onlookers also became hostile towards the officers and tried to obstruct them.

“Officers arrested two of them and one had to be restrained using reasonable force.”

Three of the four friends have since told The Pioneer's sister paper, the ECHO, that they were unreasonably attacked.

Ryan Bowyer said he was trying to calm down an incident between police and his boyfriend, Jack Roberts, who also claims he was attacked by police prior to the filmed incident.

Part of the incident was caught on camera by Brandon Barratt and has since been watched online more than 60,000 times. The fourth member of the group, Damien Crawford, says he was punched by police as he lay on the floor.

Damien Crawford from Ellesmere Port is alleging police used excessive force while dealing with himself and three friends after they had been to Africa Oye
Damien Crawford from Ellesmere Port is alleging police used excessive force while dealing with himself and three friends after they had been to Africa Oye

Merseyside Police, however, have said that only reasonable force was used, no complaints have been received and that two of the men involved had admitted committing offences.

The following day, Ryan Bowyer was charged and fined for being drunk and disorderly. Jack Roberts and Damien Crawford both admitted being drunk but say they were not out of control.

The three friends spent the night in cells and were released the following day.

The police spokesman added: “All three men were taken to custody suites across Liverpool for criminal damage and public order offences.

“They have since been dealt with by the issuing of formal cautions and Restorative Justice having admitted the offences.

“No complaint has been received. However, now the matter has been brought our attention we will review the circumstances and all the available evidence including footage from body cameras worn by the officers at scene.

“In some cases short clips of video such as those posted on social media do not tell the full story therefore we will consider all the available evidence in our review of the incident.”


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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