A MAN says he is lucky to be alive after an alleged argument over a pizza led to him being knifed in the centre of Inverness.
The victim, a Polish man in his 30s, bought a takeaway from the Spicy Spot in Merkinch and then visited the nearby Nip Inn where, according to a witness, he complained his pizza had a spider in it.
The man and a group of drinkers then spilled out into the street and some shouted racist abuse at the takeaway, which prompted two men armed with knives – who were not connected with the Spicy Spot – to intervene and the man was stabbed.
He suffered a large cut to his right arm which required 19 stitches, and another on his left which had five stitches.
He also sustained two six-inch slash marks to the right side of his neck which, thankfully, barely broke the skin and happened when he tried to ward off the flurry of knife blows.
The victim, who asked not to be identified, said: “I am lucky to be here. I lifted my arms to protect myself and that’s where I got cut. I have 11 stitches on the outside of my right arm and another eight inside.
“I was also cut on my left arm. I am lucky my neck was not slashed open.”
Police were forced to close off Grant Street and Simpson’s Lane to try and contain an unruly crowd which had gathered after the stabbing.
A local businessman, who asked to remain anonymous, said he understood trouble broke out after a drinker complained he had found a spider in his pizza.
He said: “He was in the Nip Inn and told the other punters about this and the whole incident kicked off from there. Apparently people started shouting racist abuse at the Spicy Spot takeaway across the road and two guys with knives got involved.”
Another witness said the attackers, possibly Asian, were not members of staff at the popular takeaway but happened to be in the area and apparently took offence at what was being shouted.
Around the corner from the Nip Inn an expensive sports car, which apparently belonged to the alleged attackers, had its windscreen smashed in by angry locals.
The Merkinch area is no stranger to outbreaks of violence, but the severity of the latest outbreak has left many residents in a state of shock.
Police were continuing their inquiries in the area yesterday morning, and a large police van was tucked away in a car park across the road from the Nip Inn where the assault was the main topic of conversation.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman told the HN: “Police were called to Grant Street, Inverness, at around 9.45pm yesterday following reports that a man had been seriously assaulted.
“The injuries are serious but not life threatening. Police inquiries are ongoing and police are following a positive line of inquiry.”