Four arrested after attackers turn on 'peacemaker' outside Trent Vale pub
FOUR men have been arrested after an attack on a 'peacemaker' outside his local pub left him in hospital with serious head injuries.
Dave Thomas was found lying in the street covered in blood after trying to stop an argument between three strangers at the Black Lion in Trent Vale.
The regular customer, known as Geegee, had gone to the London Road pub on Saturday to watch football. He heard the argument, which began inside the pub, and tried to stop it escalating. The men then turned on him.
The attack saw many of the 70 people at the pub rush out into the street to see what was happening before police arrived and sealed off the scene.
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Mr Thomas, aged 47, from Stoke, was unconscious for two days but is now recovering at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
Black Lion landlord Keith Elliot said: "Dave is a peacemaker and was trying to stop the fight occurring.
"He ended up lying in the middle of the road and all I saw was the blood and people administering first aid so I called the ambulance."
Mr Elliot, aged 52, said the fight did not start until the three strangers were outside the pub. He said: "When they got to the door we ushered them outside."
Police were called to a disturbance in London Road at about 9.20pm. The Black Lion has since given them CCTV footage from the night.
Mr Thomas's 52-year-old brother Derek Thomas, has been regularly checking on him.
Derek, landlord of the Greyhound Inn in Penkhull said his brother only woke up on Tuesday morning.
He added: "He is sitting up and talking but he is not eating yet. He has always been the type to try to sort out arguments."
Doctors are keeping the dad-of-one in for observation for at least the next few days. He will have physiotherapy to help him recover from his head injuries.
Derek said: "When he first woke up he said 'how did I get here?' He can't really make much conversation and he is only just drinking fluids." He was going to visit his brother yesterday followed by friends
Mr Elliot said: "Dave has never been any trouble. He is not a fighter and the police know that this is not a pub where this is a regular occurrence."
An investigation is under way and police are urging witnesses to come forward. They want to talk to motorists forced to stop and reverse to avoid the disturbance which had spilled out into the road.
A section of London Road had to be closed while police and ambulance staff attended the scene.
The four men arrested are all from Stoke-on-Trent and aged 32, 33, 34 and 36. They have all been bailed, pending further inquiries, to a date in March.
Anyone with information is asked to call DC Rob Booth at Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident 664 of January 12, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.