dozen men, some wielding weapons including golf clubs, baseball bats and spiked pieces of wood, were involved in the brawl which stretched over three roads in Easington Colliery.Police have carried out forensic tests in the streets of Cornwall, Cardiff and Corbett, which lie behind Station Road, and blood could still be seen on the pavements and on vehicles later in the day.Four local men, aged in their early 20s to mid-40s, were arrested after the major disturbance at about midnight yesterday on suspicion of violent disorder.It was expected they would be released on bail pending further inquiries once they were questioned by detectives.
Durham Police said a man had been arrested on suspicion of stealing a car and assault prior to the "running battle".The 26-year-old man, who sustained serious head injuries, is in Newcastle General Hospital, where his condition is said to be stable, but not life threatening, and detectives hope to speak to him about the attack at the earliest opportunity.Another four men received hospital treatment for injuries.A 45-year-old was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital after sustaining wounds to his head and neck.The three others, aged 42, 33 and 21, were taken to the University Hospital of Hartlepool for treatment for minor injuries, mainly to their faces.One 26-year-old, who lives near the scene, said his partner saw a lad being pushed against their Renault Clio, which was left dented by the impact and stained with blood.The man, who lives with his 25-year-old girlfriend and did not want to be named, said: "He was pushed on the car and his father came to his aid and has been attacked himself around the back of the head."I don't know what's provoked the attack and it's been a crime scene ever since."Some residents said they thought the fight could be linked to the arrival of travellers who have been camped in a field on the nearby former pit site.They arrived late last week in the run-up to a horse fair held at the weekend, but it is thought those involved are local to the village and the fair passed without incident.The man added: "At first we thought it might be because of that, but apparently not and there's been no bother with it. It's pretty bad round here sometimes."
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