Attack at city centre pub raises concerns over police response time

Man launches attack on terrified customers at The Garnet.

Eye witnesses have told UEA Journalism how a man attacked customers after sitting at a table occupied by strangers and refused to leave.

They said tensions quickly escalated, leading to a fight between both parties.

Staff called the police and sources said the situation spiralled out of control.

But there’s concern about the time it took police to respond.

Attack Details

According to witnesses, the man momentarily disappeared, giving a false impression of calmness.

However, he returned wielding glass beer bottles and launched them at unsuspecting customers seated outside, all while spewing racist slurs.

The staff at The Garnet acted swiftly, ensuring the safety of all patrons by ushering them inside.

The man persisted and resumed his assault, now targeting the individuals inside the pub, causing extensive damage to the windows, said sources.

Elliot Smith, a restaurant manager, was a part of the crowd that was sat outside when the attack took place. He said, the event was “horrible because you didn’t know where the (individual) was going to appear next. He would just keep coming out of nowhere with a new load of bottles that he kept throwing at us.”

No injuries were reported, but the incident left many shaken and terrified.

Police Response Criticised

Despite calls for assistance, the police arrived a 70 minutes after being notified.

By then the attacker had fled the scene, according to eye witnesses.

This delayed response has sparked anger among witnesses and community members.

They told UEA Journalism that the Bethel Street Police Station is 60 seconds walk away from The Garnet.

The response time raises questions about the efficiency and effectiveness of the local police department in handling such urgent situations, said eye witnesses to the attack.

The attack took place during the Arctic Monkeys concert at Carrow Road which needed a big police presence.

Teo Koschak, a supervisor on shift at the time said the event was “terrifying” and that that it “shouldn’t have taken an over for police to respond to an incident where people’s lives were in danger”.

“In the end the police that came were from Wymondham, and were very apologetic about the response time.”

Troubling Past Incidents

Pub owner, Lauren Gregory revealed that the same individual had previously caused disturbances at their venue by occupying tables uninvited and refusing to leave.

This prior history of problematic behaviour highlights a potential need for intervention and preventive measures to ensure the safety and comfort of patrons.

Following the incident, The Garnet made the decision to close its doors for the remainder of the evening.

The pub took to social media to issue a sincere apology and expressed remorse and concern for their customers.

The broken windows have been temporarily covered, and the pub is open for business as usual today, aiming to restore a sense of normalcy for its loyal patrons.


A spokesperson said, “Police were called at 7.33pm to reports of a man acting aggressively in Market Place, Norwich. During the incident two windows were smashed.

“The suspect left the scene and a search of the area to locate him began at 7.59pm, however he was not found.

“Enquiries are continuing.”


Luke Hall, aged 35 and of The Runnel, Norwich has been charged with criminal damage and remanded in custody. He is due to appear at Norwich Magistrates Court on Saturday 9 June 2023.

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