A man has been arrested in Co Galway, reportedly in connection with a video of a landlord using a power tool to slice through a tenant's door and lunge at the tenant with the running tool.
"Gardaí investigating an incident at a residential premises in Ballinasloe on the 17th April 2023 have arrested a man for an alleged offence contrary to the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997," a Gardaí spokesperson said on Thursday, April 20, according to The Journal.
"The man is detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at a Garda Station in Co. Galway.
"Investigations are ongoing."
Dr. Muhammed Raheel, a native of Pakistan who is a hospital surgeon in Co Galway, has spoken out after his video of the shocking incident was shared by his friend Dr. Liqa Ur Rehman on Twitter on Monday, the day the incident occurred.
"Full video is more distressing to watch where he has made racist and blasphemous comments as well," Dr. Rehman said in a follow-up tweet. "This has been his second attempt to break into the house."
"I'll split you up. I have Quran in my car to burn. I don't care about your family"
An immigrant doctor with a family of two young kids, was brutally attacked by his landlord threatened to evict his house. His and his family's life is in severe danger 1/2 pic.twitter.com/SY0k5rPxlT— Dr Liqa Ur Rehman🇵🇰 🇮🇪 🇳🇿 (@LiqaDr) April 17, 2023
A Gardaí spokesperson told IrishCentral on April 19 that they were "aware of a video in circulation online and can confirm that personal contact has been made with a private citizen,” though the spokesperson noted that they do not “comment on material posted on social media.”
The spokesperson added: “Enquiries are ongoing at this time.
“Any person who believes they have been mistreated by any member of An Garda Síochána is entitled to make a complaint to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.”
Dr. Raheel told The Journal on April 18, the day after the incident, that a rent disagreement evolved after his online rent transactions began bouncing last August, and he could not contact his landlord to ask why this was occurring.
“I kept trying every month and put the money aside so I would have it there when he got in touch,” Dr. Raheel told The Journal. “I didn’t hear from him for months.
“Then, on 28 March, when my wife called me from home and said I had to come right away, because someone was drilling outside and was breaking into the house, and she was with our children.
“I was in the middle of the operating room and I had to apologize and leave.
"When I got home, there was a locksmith at the door who claimed that he was told no one was living there and the locks needed changed.
“My wife was traumatized – she had put our children out of a window at the back of the house to try and keep them safe.
“The landlord arrived at the house shortly after and was shouting ‘where is my rent?’ I told him that I had been trying to send it and had proof of this, but payments would not go through.
“He gave me some explanation about switching bank accounts. He proceeded to racially abuse me. The Gardaí that came on that day were very good, they spoke to us separately and de-escalated the situation."
Dr. Raheel claimed that the landlord told him he wanted him out, but no formal notice period was given. The doctor further told The Journal that a solicitor advised him not to pay the rent at that moment without looking at the situation further.
Ahead of the arrest on Thursday, Dr. Raheel told The Journal he paid the rent for the month of April to a different account after having email contact with the landlord’s family, and that he has arrangements in place to pay the rest of the money and to find somewhere new to live as soon as possible.