A PUB was closed for business yesterday as police investigations were carried out into a violent bar room brawl which left a man fighting for his life.
Officers were called to the Prince of Wales in Waterloo Road, Blyth at 7pm on Wednesday night after a mass fight broke out in the bar.
During the incident a 43-year-old man suffered a serious head injury and was taken by ambulance to Newcastle General Hospital.
Yesterday, Northumbria Police said the man’s injury was ‘potentially life threatening’ and he was described as in a critical condition in hospital.
Two police cars remained stationed outside the pub yesterday afternoon and signs on the doors said ‘Closed Until Further Notice’.
Three men were arrested following the incident and were being held for questioning at Bedlington police
Police said they need to trace everyone who was in the Prince of Wales or the immediate vicinity on Wednesday night as part of their enquiries. They have refused to speculate on the possible cause of the fight until more witnesses are interviewed.
The incident comes just three months after a large section of Waterloo Road was cordoned off by police officers investigating the fatal stabbing of local disabled man Stephen Spirit at a hostel further down the street.
Businesses in Waterloo Road which were open at the time of Wednesday night’s incident knew little of what had happened until several police cars arrived at the scene.
One local worker said yesterday: “I saw all the police arriving but I don’t really know anything about what happened inside the pub. We have heard today that someone was very seriously injured, so it was obviously a nasty incident.”
Robert Tillmouth, who works in a nearby newsagent’s shop, said: “There was a load of commotion in the street. The boss went to the door and there was a load of police cars outside. They were talking to people outside.
“The mother of the lad that was assaulted has been in the shop this morning and said she didn’t get out of the hospital until 6am. She said he is in a bad way and the next 24 hours are going to be very crucial.’’
A police spokeswoman said: “During the fight a 43-year-old man suffered a head injury which is potentially life threatening. Extensive enquiries are continuing into this incident and we need to trace everyone who was in the pub or its vicinity last night.’’
Anyone who was in or near the pub at the time, or who has information for police, is asked to contact Bedlington CID on 0845 604-3043.
Last night, police said a fourth man had been arrested on suspicion of assault and was helping with enquiries.