Mother's warning after child gang bashed
A 13-year-old boy has been left bruised and swollen after a group of men attacked and traumatised a group of school children near the Five Ways last weekend.
His outraged mother has spoken out, calling the violence a display of "sick, twisted, brutality" where seven teenagers were victimised by a "gang" reportedly well known for acts of this nature.
"They seem to have this notion that they're gangsters," said the mother, who asked to remain anonymous for her son's safety.
"I don't understand how they find this amusing - driving around beating up 12 and 13-year-old boys."
Her son was walking home from Coles with six friends around 5pm on Sunday when two Commodores pulled up near them at the Five Ways.
Without warning four or five men, who looked to be in their 20s, got out and began chasing and punching the youngsters.
"My friend got held down so he couldn't get up and I just saw this guy on him hammering him non-stop, until a bit of blood came out of his lip," the young victim told The Gympie Times yesterday.
He told how he was knocked out momentarily by a punch, before he woozily escaped with his friend and hid behind bushes at the Civic Centre.
The boys waited there in fright for almost two hours while they heard the screams and pleas of their mates and saw the cars circling the area. They eventually took refuge in a nearby house, before being driven home.
"They were pretty shaken and pretty traumatised and half crying while telling me," the Gympie mum said.
Her son's eye was severely swollen and blackened when he got home.
She believes the perpetrators are a gang of brothers or relatives who are known in the area and she wants to get the word out there.
Gympie police acting senior sergeant Rod Venn is not aware of the problem.
"There's nothing to suggest that there's a gang problem here," he said.
"If it was something we were seeing develop, it would be something we would be jumping on straight away. We're active on the hot spots."
He said the term "gang" could sometimes be misused to mean something more significant, when it may be a group of people congregating together.
He said not engaging was the best way to avoid becoming an assault victim.
If violence is unprovoked, people are entitled to defend themselves with reasonable force, he said, while vulnerable people should seek a place of safe retreat and call 000.
The mother, who said she would be irate even if it wasn't her son involved, said it did not matter what people perceived the gang as.
"It's their perception of themselves," she said.
"I don't think people should have to be worried about their young teenagers walking the street during the day without getting bashed. We don't live in a ghetto."