The father of student Daniel Whiteley, who was left for dead in Platt Fields Park, is appealing for public help as police question three people on suspicion of attempted murder.
An 18-year-old woman and two men, aged 21 and 26, have been arrested today on suspicion of attempted murder and remain in police custody, as the 19-year-old victim's father made an emotional plea to the public to help officers' investigations.
Detectives believe that Daniel may have been involved in an altercation at the Krunchy Fried Chicken takeaway on Wilmslow Road, opposite Owens Park, sometime between 2am and 3.30am on Tuesday February 28.
Daniel’s dad, Mick Whiteley said: "Firstly on behalf of Dan and his family I would like to say thank you to the police and health care professionals who are working tirelessly 24/7 both to bring to justice those who inflicted such terrible injuries on my son and to repair the enormous damage they have done.
“We are very heartened by the huge number of messages of support and shock at what has happened, which we have received from Dan's large circle of friends from back home and from the University of Manchester.
“This is testimony to the decent, polite, friendly and popular young lad he is. Members of the public should know he was not a thug. He is a harmless, well educated, articulate and kind young man returning from a night out with his fellow first year students from uni, who was the victim of a vicious and sustained attack, robbed of his meagre belongings and left for dead in a park.
“We need your help to bring the people responsible for this to justice and to prevent this happening again to someone's much loved son, brother, grandson and friend.”
Detective Inspector Terry Crompton from Longsight CID said: "We have now received new information about Daniel's whereabouts that morning and would ask that anyone who was at or near the takeaway between 2am and 3.30am contacts us.
At 5.35am, Tuesday February 28, officers were called to the Fallowfield park after My Whiteley was found in a water drainage route. The Manchester University had suffered multiple head and body injuries after an assault and remains in a critical state in hospital.
Detective Inspector Crompton added: "If you were in the Platt Fields Park or the surrounding area on Monday night or Tuesday morning and saw or heard anything you think may be linked to this case, then please get in touch with us. We are determined to establish the facts so we can provide Daniel's family with some much needed answers.
"However insignificant you think your information may be it could actually be vital to our investigation."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 4245 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.