Five teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following a broad daylight park attack which has left a 46-year-old man fighting for his life.
Alan Willson was left in a coma with life-threatening injuries after the assault in Longcroft Park, Worthing, West Sussex, at around 7.30pm on Easter Sunday.
Two JustGiving pages have raised over £24,000 combined for the family so far, as police confirmed four boys have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.
A fifth teenager was later arrested for attempted murder, Sussex Police said.
All five, who police have confirmed are under 18, have been released on bail with strict conditions.
A Sussex Police spokesperson said: "Police attended the scene and after carrying out a number of fast-time enquiries, arrested four males in connection with the assault.
"It is thought the victim was assaulted by a group of four teenage boys.
"Those arrested have been released on bail with strict conditions while police continue their enquiries.
"These conditions include curfews, staying at a given address and not associating with each other."
Following the attack, paramedics rushed Mr Willson to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in nearby Brighton, East Sussex, where he is still being treated in a life-threatening condition.
Detective Inspector Simon Dunn, who is leading the investigation, said: “The assault and the build up to it occurred in a public park in daylight, so it was likely that other people would have witnessed the assault or the suspects running from the scene. I am keen to hear from anyone who has information but is yet to come forward.”
Sussex Police investigators are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.
A spokeswoman for the force added: "Four boys were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and grievous bodily harm with intent. They were released on bail with conditions while police enquiries continue.
"Police also arrested a fifth boy on suspicion of attempted murder on Monday (5 April). He has also been released on bail with strict conditions.
"Police are treating this as an isolated incident. Officers will be conducting increased regular high-visibility patrols in the area to provide reassurance to the community, and to identify and deter any further criminal behaviour.
"The investigation is ongoing and police are urging anyone who saw what happened, or who was in the park around that time and may have any relevant information, to get in touch."
Anyone with information can contact police online or by calling 101 quoting Operation Swallowtail, anonymously via Crimestoppers online or by calling 0800 555 111.
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