The fan who was viciously hit by a police officer outside Monday night’s Steel City derby is a 17-year-old boy and has a suspected broken rib, his father has revealed.
The footage, which was shot by a Star reporter and has been widely shared on social media, shows an officer in riot gear repeatedly hitting the fan with his baton.
The incident happened after the game finished as rival fans began fighting on Leppings Lane and police stepped in to keep them apart.
The boy’s father, however, thinks the officer’s actions were a complete overreaction and amount to ‘assault’, and says he intends to formally complain to South Yorkshire Police about the incident.
The man, who did not want to be named, said: “I’m not stupid and think the sun shines out of my lad’s backside. I know he will have probably been lippy to the fans but I can say 99.9% he wouldn’t to the police as one of best friend’s dad is a copper.
“If he had just tapped him with his baton I’d have said well wrong place wrong time son. If he had hit him once with such force I’d have been angry but then to chase after him to simply attack him well I’m sorry but that is assault. If you or I did it in civvy street we would be punished.”
The man says he has consulted with friends who are police officers with different forces who all said the officer’s actions looked like they overstepped the mark and that he didn’t look ‘in control when striking’.
He said his son admits he was in the area looking at the fighting but actually climbed over the railings to get out of the way and moved on when he was told to.
The officer then leaned over the railing to try to hit him but missed, and then chased him down the road to hit him a further two times.
A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: "We await the complaint and will carry out a full investigation into the incident and the lead up to it.
“If you witnessed the incident of have further information please contact 101 quoting incident 402 of 4 March 2019.”