Schoolies with a boom box in a shopping trolley in Cavil Ave. Picture Mike Batterham
Schoolies with a boom box in a shopping trolley in Cavil Ave. Picture Mike Batterham

Schoolie ratbags hit their straps

RATBAG Schoolies hit their straps between 10pm and midnight yesterday keeping police busy in the area surrounding the party precinct overnight.

A mohawked teen was ripped from the dance party by security guards just before 10pm because he was "obviously affected by something" and handed over the police.

He then became violent and resisted arrest.

The young Schoolie pulled from the dance party is arrested by police. Picture Mike Batterham
The young Schoolie pulled from the dance party is arrested by police. Picture Mike Batterham

A handful of officers marched him into the back of a van waiting on Hanlon St where the youth began swearing and kicking against the walls of the vehicle.

"We're going to take him back to the watch-house so he can cool off," one officer said over the screams.

"Obviously he's affected by something, the security guards made their assessment but we have to make ours, we're going to let him sleep it off."

Less than hour later a security guard was heard yelling "keep walking" and "respect your elders" at a Schoolie blue shirt walking north on The Esplanade in Surfers Paradise following what's believed to be a scuffle in the dance floor at Schoolies Hub.

In reply the Schoolie said: "no you keep walking for your own sake" before friends pulled him away.

Minutes later police tracked the Schoolie down following public nuisance complaints and questioned him.

Schoolies jump back over a railing on the Surfers Paradise foreshore. Picture Mike Batterham.
Schoolies jump back over a railing on the Surfers Paradise foreshore. Picture Mike Batterham.

Meanwhile, a pair of boys claimed over the railing of a two storey building, appearing the relish the attention before giving the finger when the were told to climb back over to safety.

This was when the Schoolie wearing a blue shirt sprinted away from police.

The crowds in Cavil Ave. Picture Mike Batterham.
The crowds in Cavil Ave. Picture Mike Batterham.

Police discovered the Schoolie had given a fake name. When the jig was up he lead police on a 100m chase along the Esplanade into Hanlon St where he collided with another patrol of officers. He was thrown into the back of a police car.

"He ran once we found out he had given a fake name, we would have caught him but there was a patrol around the corner," said another officer at the scene.

"We try to be a de-escalating presence with a lot of friendly move ons, but unfortunately some people can't be de-escalated.

"We saturate the area (with police) so that nothing happens."

The blue-shirted Schoolie placed in handcuffs. Picture Mike Batterham
The blue-shirted Schoolie placed in handcuffs. Picture Mike Batterham

Back at Cavil Ave at 11.30pm a fight had reportedly broken out between two girls near Hungry Jacks. Police questioned the two groups.

Suddenly, police run north up the Esplanade towards McDonalds where another tussle had broken out.

Police swarm to the area and quickly handcuff a Schoolie. Then another becomes concerned for his friend and lashes out. He's also apprehended.

If that wasn't enough, the two groups continue to threaten each other before police break it up.

No one is injured, which is thanks in part to the strategic positioning of police throughout Surfers Paradise, with a focus on the troublesome fast food restaurants where the fights tend to break out, Inspector Troy Lehmann explained.

"We try to spread them across the whole precinct," said Insp Lehmann, as thousands of graduates flooded out of the beach party onto Cavil Ave.

Insp Lehmann said there would always be ratbags in any crowd but police aimed to intervene before situations became dangerous.

Schoolies at the dance party. Picture Mike Batterham
Schoolies at the dance party. Picture Mike Batterham

"We're not here to be overbearing and dominant, but to be able to react, and take some photos if the Schoolies want," he said.

"There's ratbags in any group but you've got to understand that 99 per cent of these kids do the right thing day in day out.

"It's not a zero tolerance, we're not here butting heads, we're here help them have a good time and provide a safe environment."

Party people. Picture Mike Batterham.
Party people. Picture Mike Batterham.

He said leniency is given considering the seriousness of the school leaver's actions.

"We understand some poor choices are made outside of parental guidance, that's taken into account,"

"Depending on what they do we will determine what action we take, a lot of the time it's a caution or telling them to pull their head in."

"For a lot of these kids it's their first experience with police so we want it to be a positive experience."



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