Swansea riots: Dad of teen whose death sparked chaos begs yobs to stop & says 'we don't want others to die'

Swansea riots: Dad of teen whose death sparked chaos begs yobs to stop & says 'we don't want others to die'


THE DAD of a tragic teenager whose sudden death sparked rioting has begged the yobs to stop the violence saying "we don't want others to die."

Grieving Jonathan Russ, 49, said his son Ethan would never have wanted cars set on fire and houses pelted with bricks in his name following the riots in Swansea.

Father-of-two Mr Russ told the Sun Online: “Ethan would have found it disgusting – it’s not something we want to be associated with.

“I don’t know how a peaceful vigil for my son turned into a riot with innocent people caught up in it.

“I want it to stop right now. We have lost one life already, we don’t want someone else to die.”

Football fan Ethan, 19, fell ill last Monday night after watching his beloved Swansea City in the Championship playoff match on TV with his grandfather Terry.

He went home and was found unconscious by his grandmother Sheryl who dialled 999. 

Ethan was flown by air ambulance to Morriston Hospital, Swansea, where he died on Wednesday after his life support machine was turned off.

Doctors told his father that he suffered multiple organ failure after a massive cardiac arrest.

Mr Russ said: “He was a cheeky chap, always smiling with lots of friends who will miss him terribly.

“He loved Swansea City and would have been buzzing on Monday after they won the first leg of the play-off match.

“I used to say to him I couldn’t wait to go with him to matches when they are back in the Premiership. That will never happen now.”

Mr Russ and his partner Nicola Rogers, 40, didn’t go to Thursday night’s vigil in Mayhill, Swansea – which turned into a full-scale riot with cars torched and houses pelted with bricks.

At one point, crowds cheered with delight as a car was pushed down a hill into another blazing vehicle during the violence in Maryhill.

Seven police officers suffered minor injuries after brazen yobs launched missiles at them.

The couple were told organisers had planned a simple release of balloons in Ethan’s honour.

Mr Russ said: “We hoped to see a few go past from our window, that would have been good.

“But instead we saw images of rioting on social media – we couldn’t believe what was going on. It was stupid behaviour and I am just gutted by it.

“What if a child or an elderly person was in the street when the cars were rolling down at speed?”

Mr Russ appealed to organisers of any planned vigils for his son to cancel them immediately.

He said: “If anyone wants to release a balloon for Ethan they can do it from their own front doorsteps.

“We don’t want any gatherings in his name – it’s not what my boy would have wanted.”

One mum, who didn’t want to be named for fear of reprisals, said: “It was terrifying. My six-year-old boy asked me if we were all going to die.

“My 10-year-old daughter says she never wants to spend another night here. 

“A brick came through our window and a car was blazing outside the front door – I could feel the heat from the flames.”

The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford today slammed the yobs, who sparked chaos last night.

Mr Drakeford said: "The violent scenes in Swansea last night were completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated anywhere in Wales."

Local Welsh Parliament member Tom Giffard called the scenes "disturbing", with Swansea's council leader branding it "disgusting behaviour by yobs".

Alun Michael, South Wales' police and crime commissioner, said: "The scenes we witnessed in Swansea last night were totally unacceptable and I was extremely saddened to hear that some officers called to the incident were injured, though thankfully not seriously.

"I'm extremely grateful for the immediate actions taken by the police and our partners to these events and it was also heartening to hear that off-duty officers volunteered their time in support of colleagues and the safety of the local community.

"It is now critical that those responsible are identified and held to account for their actions.

"Both investigative arrangements and joint work with local authority to support the local community were put in place last night with commendable speed, followed up vigorously this morning."

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