Four teenagers arrested after gatecrashers stab man outside Wolstanton birthday party
FOUR teenagers were arrested after a 21-year-old man was stabbed outside a church hall where a 16th birthday party was being held.
The victim suffered puncture wounds to the chest in the street attack near the United Reformed Church, Wolstanton.
It is understood that the four youths had attempted to gatecrash the celebration but were thrown out.
They are then believed to have been involved with an altercation with a man, who lives nearby and had been trying to break up a fight.
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He is now being treated for 'serious' injuries at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire where he is expected to remain for several days.
The mum who organised the party for her daughter and around 80 youngsters at the Watlands View church told The Sentinel: "It was private invite only and these people turned up who weren't known to my daughter.
"The party was due to finish at 11pm when they showed up at 10.10pm and tried to get in but were refused.
"I am angry because it was nothing to do with the party getting out of hand. It was a small minority of troublemakers. The man was just an innocent person who hadn't been at the party."
Staffordshire Police initially arrested three teenagers, a 15-year-old and 18-year-old from Newcastle, and a 16-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent, on suspicion of assault following the attack at around 10.30pm on Friday. Officers later arrested a 17-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent.
All four male teenagers were questioned at the Northern Area Custody Facility before being released on bail yesterday pending further inquiries.
Police say they are still trying to establish what weapon was used.
Detective Sergeant Garry Jackson said: "Uniformed officers have been in the area to offer reassurance to residents and deal with any concerns they may have.
"We are appealing for witnesses to what was a serious incident."
Residents today described their shock after seeing a fight erupt in the street.
Full-time mum Emma Brown, aged 18, of Watlands View, said: "There were loads of kids outside my house. They were smashing bottles on the ground and making a lot of noise.
"A big fight kicked off, I looked out and saw a lad run off down the road shouting that he had been stabbed.
"It was really frightening because I was trying to put my daughter to bed."
Keele University student Lucy O'dwyer, aged 21, of Dimsdale View East, said: "It was chaos, there was lots of drunken teenagers and one had passed out in the church courtyard.
"It is scary to think it could have been one of us that went to intervene."
One party-goer, who asked not to be named, said: "It was just meant to be a 16th birthday party for my friend and then people started turning up who hadn't been invited.
"It is awful what happened, I can't believe that someone ended up getting stabbed."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting incident number 763 of December 7.