The four Danish tourists that were assaulted in Nørrebro’s Folkets Park on Saturday afternoon may have been the victims of mistaken identity.
Witnesses reported to police that the assailants may have believed the three young men and one women in the car were members of a rival gang. Folkets Park is known to be a hangout for Blågårdsbanden, a street gang which has long been at war with the Hells Angels.
As the black Mercedes made its way through Nørrebro, a group of 10 -12 young men surrounded the car and shouted,
"Are you AK 81?"
AK 81 is a known support group for the Hell's Angels.
When one of the men responded, "What if we are?", the victims were pulled from their car and attacked.
A 22-year-old man was stabbed three times in the stomach, resulting in internal bleeding and a collapsed lung. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors managed to save his life. He is reportedly now out of danger. The other victims were kicked and beaten by the group that was reportedly between the ages of 16 and 25. Witnesses say the perpetrators were wearing jogging suits of various colours.
Police said the victims were tourists from "another part of Denmark" that were in town for a concert at Forum.
“They were driving through town and had some kind of disagreement with some residents,” Frank Blem-Nielsen from the Copenhagen Police told ekstrabladet.dk
One of the victims was reportedly wearing a hoodie and had tattoos, which led police to think that he was possibly mistaken for a Hells Angels member.
"Our theory is that they could have looked like members of a rival gang" Lau Thygesen of the Copenhagen police told Politiken newspaper. "But no matter who they resembled, this is unacceptable."
Police did not think the victims had any gang ties.
Police are asking the public for any help they can give in identifying those responsible for the attack. Folkets Park has a reputation as a dangerous spot with open-air drug dealing and where several other random assaults have occurred in recent years. Following Saturday's attack, Nørrebro residents held an anti-violence demonsration in the park on Sunday. The 'Taking Back Our Streets' event was the 40th such action since 2009. Residents traditionally hold the demonstrations at precisely 5pm the day after an incident has occurred.
"We will not just sit in our apartments and be afraid," Susanne Voss, a local pastor who arranged the demonstration, told Politiken newspaper.
About 30 Nørrebro residents participated in Sunday's demonstration.