Updated 6.30pm with Police statement
Police unholstered taser guns and wrestled civilians to the ground as a brawl among some 50 revellers broke out in Paceville on New Year’s Day.
The incident, caught on video by civilian bystanders, saw several people arrested and at least three sustain injuries.
In a statement late on Friday the police said three people - a 33-year-old Libyan man, a 34 year-old-man Libyan man and a 36-year-old Irish woman - were rushed to Mater Dei Hospital. Their condition remains unknown.
A police spokesperson told Times of Malta that at around 1am a fight broke out among a group of Syrian nationals at a restaurant in the nightlife district.
Public health authorities have repeatedly urged the public not to gather in large crowds over the holidays to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
The restaurant was supposedly holding a dinner service that should have been in line with COVID-19 rules.
It is not clear what caused the New Year fight but officers from the Rapid Intervention Unit were ordered to the scene where they brandished taser guns in an attempt to control the crowd that spilled out onto the street.
In footage, seen by Times of Malta, police are seen outside an establishment on Paceville’s Triq Gort, near the Pendergardens development, detaining a number of people, including the driver of a vehicle who appears to attempt to flee the scene.
In the footage, a silver Peugeot is seen driving through a group of officers gathered in the busy street attempting to control the crowd. Officers are seen swarming the car ordering the driver to stop and trying to smash open the front passenger window. The car is eventually brought to a halt and those inside are detained.
The police spokesman said the driver had been involved in the brawl and was attempting to flee the scene.
Throughout the video, officers are seen brandishing taser guns and the clicking sound of the electrical current can be heard. It is not clear whether the weapons - meant to neutralise aggressors without causing lasting harm - were actually used on any civilians.
The spokesman said no one will be charged in court on Friday, but a number of civilians would likely be arraigned on Saturday.
It is not yet known whether anyone had suffered any serious injuries in the incident as the police are still awaiting medical updates from Mater Dei Hospital. However, a number of people were taken to hospital by ambulance.
As for the issue of over-crowding, Times of Malta is informed that the Malta Tourism Authority will be asked to look into the issue of who is responsible for an apparent violation of the COVID-19 restrictive measures.
Investigations are ongoing.
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