By Neville Dean, PA Crime Correspondent
A 27-year-old man was critically ill in hospital tonight after several youths climbed into the back of an ambulance to attack him.
The victim had initially been injured during a fight involving around 20 youths armed with baseball bats and a knife in Bounds Green Road, north London.
He had suffered a head injury but managed to get to the ambulance, which was close by on an unrelated call to help an elderly collapsed woman.
As the victim sat in the back, several of the youths who had been chasing him then climbed in and assaulted him.
A member of the ambulance crew was also assaulted, though not seriously. He continued to treat the victim and managed to request urgent police assistance.
The suspects then made off. All those involved are believed to be of eastern European origin
The victim was rushed to hospital, where his condition was tonight said to be critical
The original caller, an elderly woman who had fallen, was treated at home and did not need to go to hospital.
Three men were arrested shortly after the fight, which happened at around 9.10pm yesterday. They are in custody at separate north London police stations.
Police are keeping an open mind about the motive for the attack and are taking statements from those involved.
An incident room has been opened at Lewisham, under Detective Chief Inspector Phil Adams. Anyone with information is asked to call 020 8284 4868 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
From what I hear on the rumour-mill, the Paramedic wasn't seriously hurt.
The victim later died in hospital. It's a sad state of affairs when you have armed gangs jumping into an ambulance in order to kill someone.
Fighting between gangs is something that we are seeing more and more of. Random muggings are fairly rare, but violence between gangs, or people who otherwise know each other is the main type of violence that we see.
Normally fuelled by alcohol…
The police have impounded the ambulance for forensic examination, which is going to be a hell of a job considering the state of our motors.