Handcuffs

A 27-year-old man is to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court today (11/03) following an attack on an Aston Villa player at the Second City derby yesterday.

Paul Mitchell, aged 27 was arrested by police after he invaded the pitch at St Andrews and punched Villa player Jack Grealish in the head. He was arrested on suspicion of encroachment onto the pitch and assault.

Match commander, Superintendent Nick Rowe, said: “An attack on a player is completely unacceptable and outrageous.

“The vast majority of people were well behaved but unfortunately the occasion has been marred by this.

“We currently have a man in custody for questioning and will be working with Birmingham City Football Club as we fully investigate what happened.”

A comprehensive policing operation was put in place at the fixture to successfully reduce the risk of large-scale disorder. On the day there were four arrests for suspected assault or violent disorder offences.

A small number of objects were thrown at officers outside the ground following the game but no-one was injured and enquiries are on-going.

A steward was spoken to in the aftermath of the goal but no offence has been reported at this stage; while the force will also be reviewing complaints around offensive social media posts.

Some road closures and restrictions were in operation to assist in enabling supporters to leave the ground as quickly as possible.

Supt Rowe added: “I would like to thank people for their co-operation and patience during the day.

“We fully understand these road restrictions would have caused some inconvenience. It wasn’t a decision we took lightly but was considered necessary to avoid the risk of major disorder.”