DETECTIVES were last night interrogating a schoolboy after a 14-year-old was attacked so viciously he needed hospital treatment.
The teenage victim from Portsmouth was assaulted in Moneyfield Avenue, Copnor, about 7.45pm, on Monday evening.
Police yesterday said he was in a ‘serious but stable’ condition and that a 14-year-old boy from Portsmouth had been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Detectives don’t believe a weapon was used in the attack, close to Ocean Retail park, a spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said.
The incident shocked those living and working in the ‘normally quiet’ area.
Alison Dixon, an employee at Pets at Home, was surprised when officers ordered her to avoid the road when she arrived for work.
She said: ‘I got here just after 5am and there was lots of shouting by police, saying “don’t cross the road!”. I didn’t want to get involved so I stayed in my car for a bit.
‘You don’t expect anything like that at 5am round here. It’s normally quite quiet when I come into work.’
Throughout the morning, police enforcing a cordon were seen stopping dozens of children on their way to school from entering the road.
Sandra Churcher, 60, lives in Moneyfield Avenue. She said: ‘I have lived here for about 25 years and have never seen anything like this.’
Councillor Jeanette Smith, cabinet member for resources at Portsmouth City Council and one of the area’s ward councillors, was appalled at the attack.
She said: ‘Any attack on anybody, in any residential street, is a disgraceful act by the perpetrator. What this shows is that austerity and cutting any police provision is causing some problems.’
The attack is the latest in a string of violent incidents to hit Portsmouth in recent weeks.
Last month a 21-year-old man was shot in the leg in Hudson Road, Southsea, leading to four men from London being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Then, just days later, a police officer was stabbed in the back while he patrolled near Stamshaw Park. A 19-year-old has since been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Anyone with information on the attack should call police on 101, quoting crime reference 44190086029.