A petition warrant for the arrest of a 24-year-old man has been issued following an alleged attempted murder in Jo’s Bar in Leith Walk on Monday.
The warrant was issued after a customer was left blind in one eye after being stabbed with a kitchen knife in a horrific attack.
The victim, named locally as Bryan McCabe, 43, had been watching a darts match in the pub when a man walked in, waved to bar staff and then plunged a kitchen knife into his eye shortly before 9.30pm on Monday.
Witnesses said the attacker then calmly walked out the back of the bar. Following the attack, shocked drinkers immediately rang emergency services and Mr McCabe was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment.
He was later transferred to St John’s Hospital, Livingston, where he underwent surgery the next morning.
It is understood Mr McCabe worked as a care assistant in the Capital.
Bar manager Jo Singh, 37, who has run the premises for more than a year on behalf of her nephew and licensee, Andrew Singh, said: “I really am shocked. We’ve never had anything like this happen.
“The victim had been in the bar since 6pm quietly having a pint and watching our darts team play a match. At around 7.30pm there was an argument of some kind.
“My barmaid, Sarah, rang me after this and asked me to come in as there was an atmosphere. I arrived and spent around 20 minutes behind the bar, everything was calm ‘“I headed away after this but at 9.30pm I got the call that Bryan had been stabbed in the eye. There was blood everywhere.”
Police immediately erected a cordon as forensic experts looked to preserve evidence within and outwith the premises on the corner of James Street and Leith Walk.
Graham Veitch, of nearby Carpet Bargain Store, said: “I saw all the CID and the forensics behind the cordon when I arrived this morning at 8.30am.
“That bar is usually a quiet wee place with very little trouble but I suppose you never know what kind of guy is going to walk in.”
Ms Singh added: “We have a steady and quiet clientele with very little, if any, trouble. Everyone was stunned at the guy who did it, I just can’t believe that he’d ever do something like this.”
A police spokesman said: “The incident took place within Jo’s Bar, where a man assaulted another patron with a knife, causing injuries to his face and neck.
“The suspect fled from the pub, and police were called. Inquiries are now ongoing to trace the man responsible.
An NHS spokesman confirmed that Mr McCabe was now in a “stable condition” in St John’s Hospital following his surgery.
A police spokesman said inquiries are ongoing to trace the individual named in the warrant and in the meantime have asked for anyone with any information about the incident to contact Lothian and Borders Police immediately on 0131-311 3131.”