Chapel St nightmare: Melbourne's most dangerous nightspot
WARNING: Graphic content
A MELBOURNE woman is approached by a group of drunk men, who are shouting at her about her dress.
"I just looked forward feeling very intimidated and outnumbered," she tells news.com.au.
"I rolled my eyes, said nothing and kept walking, but they started following behind me, 'Hey, hey! F***ing b***h!'.
"I was about 10 metres in front of them about to go round the corner of Chapel (Street) when I heard one of them shout at me, 'I'm gonna f***ing rape you c***!'
"By now I was terrified and fastened my pace. I glanced behind me, saw a few of the guys running towards me.
"I ran across Chapel Street. Just at that moment I saw a vacant cab travelling towards me, I hailed it and jumped in. All this happened in a matter of seconds. As I got in the cab and it drove away, I could see the group of guys running in my direction, yelling."
This is just one of the shocking stories from Melbourne's party strip, Chapel Street, where sexual assault, drugs and violence is rife.
Just on the weekend, it is believed three people died and 20 people overdosed after taking MDMA from a bad batch, among those people was a 17-year-old.
Police said the death toll could continue to rise.
DRUGS SOLD ON THE STREET
A man accused of dealing dodgy drugs faced Melbourne court on Monday after being charged with trafficking MDMA and possessing the proceeds of crime.
He was arrested after he was allegedly pointed out to staff at a Chapel Street club after a woman overdosed after buying drugs from him.
The overdoses have been linked to between six and 10 nightclubs but police have not named which ones were involved.
Popular Chapel Street nightclub Revolver Upstairs expressed concerns for those taking drugs in the precinct.
It warned patrons about drugs on its Facebook page, warning revellers not to risk their lives with illicit substances.
"We will do everything in our power to ensure our patrons are safe," the club wrote.
It is not known exactly what kind of drugs were sold and ingested, but a regular MDMA user posted on Pill Reports, an ecstasy test results database, about a drug on Melbourne streets called Beige Pacman.
It is described as a thick pill with a chalky texture and a Pacman symbol is pressed into the top.
The contents of the pill are unknown but the user put a warning out a week ago to people who may come across it.
"I'm a regular pill and MDMA taker, have a medium tolerance, and never had any bad experiences," the user wrote.
"Had one of those Pacman pills on (January 6) in Melbourne. Within half an hour I was violently ill and vomiting. Two of my friends had exactly the same reaction.
"I don't have a test kit, so can't confirm what's in them, but just putting a warning out there that I think they're dodgy."
Turning Point Treatment Services clinical director Dr Matthew Frei told news.com.au the number of collapses in Chapel Street was "horrific".
He said a cluster of overdoses wasn't common when it came to taking MDMA and thought the drugs these people took could have been from the same batch.
But what was in these drugs, we may never know.
"It's almost like detective work sometimes to find these things out," Dr Frei said.
"Sometimes the chemical in a drug you are looking at is very new and testing for them might not even be available or may just be early on in its sophistication.
"How do you get to the bottom of what's going on with it? It's not like alcohol or prescription drugs where you know what happens."
Dr Frei said it was at times hard to know what you were getting with MDMA, with some manufacturers imitating the drug, using dangerous ingredients.
"A lot of people who purchase pills as ecstasy may have either an unknown dose of ecstasy or get a drug that is impure or adulterated," he said.
"Sometimes things are added to the ecstasy to increase its value in the illicit drug market or increase its effect in some way. In some cases, drugs sold as ecstasy might have more risks than we know about."
Dr Frei does not think we can arrest ourselves out of the drug problem as it doesn't minimise the harm of drugs on young people.
"We see people obviously come into emergency departments quite ill," he said.
"There is law enforcement going on, yet we have people dying. Another option is telling people, if they're going to do that, they need to do as much research as they can, have the pills tested if they can, and go to events with a friend who may not be using and can be your minder.
Contact ambulances if you or your mates are in strife and stay well hydrated. Also rest because there are some adverse effects where people dance until they collapse."
'I GOT REALLY ANGRY'
Some woman have admitted to feeling unsafe in Chapel Street after they were sexually assaulted or harassed during a night out.
Fairfax Media reported another woman was sexually assaulted while in line at KFC on Chapel Street in 2015.
"I got really angry, really angry, and then I got really upset that it had happened to me, really vulnerable," the woman said.
A year before the KFC assault, another woman was allegedly gang raped by five men near Chapel Street.
Fairfax Media reports she told police she was tied up with masking tape.
She said she then ran naked to Chapel Street and was taken to hospital.
The men attacked her after she headed down Snowball Lane, right near Chapel Street.
'KICK A POOFTER TO DEATH'
There's been a number of violent brawls and one-punch attacks in the Chapel Street precinct - there were even homophobic signs plastered to posts in the street last year encouraging people to be violent towards people in the gay community and "kick a poofter to death" to "cure" AIDS.
The violence has become a concern and the latest attack happened just before Christmas, when a man fell victim to a one-punch attack.
Ryan and his friend Edwin Fox walked past four or five men on Chapel Street, who taunted them.
The Herald Sun reported the men were pushed and shoved and then a man punched Ryan in the back of his head.
"My friend is not doing so well. He is mentally shook up, battered and bruise," Mr Fox said after the incident.
"Were were on a night out, on a work do. We went to a few areas around Melbourne, eventually heading home.
"We got out of a taxi and caught the eye of the wrong people.
"We were involved in a horrific assault - totally unprovoked."
Just before Ryan's attack, in November, a huge brawl spilt from a nightclub on to Chapel Street.
The Herald Sun reported a man, was hit in the face with a bottle, a young woman was knocked to the ground and a wheelie bin was used as a weapon and thrown at a man's head while he was down on the footpath.
In another incident in 2015, a man and his brother bashed a man unconscious during a confrontation over racist comments.
AAP reported James Bruce was coming out of a bar on Chapel Street when a man of African background walked past and overheard Mr Bruce say "my n*****".
Mr Bruce said he was singing a song but the men had an argument and the African man left.
CCTV footage captured Mr Bruce following him and punching and kicking him in the head.
Mr Bruce's brother then kicked the man in his groin as he lay motionless on the ground.
The pair pleaded guilty to a charge of intentionally causing injury in September last year.
Anybody seeking help or advice in relation to drugs or alcohol should visit counsellingonline.org.au.