Published: 15:08, 21 June 2021
| Updated: 15:15, 21 June 2021
Two men were stabbed after a fight between two gangs broke out near a popular seafront bar.
Tensions flared between the rival groups outside popular nightspot Captain Jack’s at about 11pm, as horrified drinkers watched the violence unfold.
A passer-by, who was taking a stroll along the coast with his partner at the time, compared the scenes outside the bar to those of a horror film.
“Myself and my partner witnessed the horror of two of the men being stabbed, one in the stomach and the other in the chest,” the 52-year-old recounted.
“Multiple patrons were nearby and recording the incident, while others rushed over to the injured men and attempted to stop the bleeding and ease the wounds. It was like a scene from a horror movie."
Soon afterwards, three police cars and two ambulances arrived at the scene, with officers seen forming a cordon in William Street.
Witnesses say the brawling began inside Captain Jack’s, with one claiming to have seen tables being thrown by the thugs across the premises.
“As we looked inside the venue from across the street, we could see the fight escalating. Tables were flying across the room,” the passer-by, who has lived in the town for 20 years, added.
“After they were evicted by the door staff the fight continued outside. It was truly horrifying to witness.
“I have never seen anything like this before.”
Owner Hassan Hassan says two members of a "rowdy" group inside the bar tried to punch one of his doormen after they were asked to leave.
The businessman, who runs the site with his brother Nejmi, claims the customers were then ejected from the building, before further trouble happened outside.
“They were rowdy and making too much noise inside the bar and asked to leave,” Hassan said.
"They didn't take that kindly and one of the group swung for one of the doormen, who fell, before another swung for him.
"The rest of the group apologised and then left the premises.
"CCTV footage from outside our café next door, Makcari's, shows two of the lads getting into a fight with four or five others, but where those other men came from is unclear."
"There were no tables thrown - they're extremely heavy. But we have artificial flowers and stalls, and they could have gone over when our doorman fell to the floor."
The Hassans, who also own Makcari’s café next door, say they will now increase security at the entrance to Captain Jack’s.
They have ordered metal detectors and body cameras for their doormen, who will be instructed to check the contents of customers’ bags before they enter.
“The guys who were involved came to Captain Jack’s and one of them booked a table, so we know exactly who they are. We’re going to hand over all the details to police,” the Hassans added.
“We’re cooperating with the police to find who was responsible.
"We were shocked because we've had no trouble up until now.
"At Captain Jack's we've been very responsible - we have a strict door policy, a great team and rules in place where it's one warning, then you're out."
A police spokesman has confirmed both of the men had been discharged from hospital on Sunday.
Detectives have launched an investigation into the shocking incident.
They are urging witnesses or anyone who has any information, including dashcam or CCTV footage, to call them on 01843 222289, quoting the reference number 46/106242/21, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 01843 222289.