TEENS GO ON TOWN RIOT
By MEGAN KINNINMENT
Man hospitalised as 70 youths trample car and smash windows during night of mayhem
A MAN was hospitalised with serious injuries, a car was trampled, windows smashed and a miniature windmill stolen in a teenage rampage that swept through Alstonville on Monday night.
A group of between 60 to 70 young people were involved in the fracas which started at Geoff Watt Oval in Deegan Drive, near the Alstonville Bowling Club, then spread to Main Street and the Alstonville Plaza.
Police said they received reports from Alstonville residents of 'brawling, drinking, anti-social behaviour and general misbehaviour' across the town on Monday night.
They are now investigating the serious assault of a young man at Geoff Watt Oval. The man was too seriously injured to be interviewed yesterday.
Police are calling for any witnesses to come forward.
After drinking at the oval, the teen mob moved into Main Street and vandalised a business leaving $2000 damage after two windows were smashed, then continued their rampage to the Alstonville Plaza car park.
The group trashed a parked 1995 red Nissan Pulsar, smashing all of its windows.
At nearby Wardell Road, a resident had her ornamental windmill stolen from her front garden.
Security patrols were also called to the Alstonville Bowling Club when the alarm was set off twice ? once at 11.30pm and again at 2.30am yesterday.
The club sustained $2000 damage after two of its front entrance windows were smashed and several holes dug out of the bowling greens.
Cleaner and cellarman at the club, Geoff Daley, said young people gathered at nearby Geoff Watt Oval on a weekly basis to drink.
"The little kids use this oval to play cricket on a Saturday morning," he said.
"It's sad. Something's got to be done.
"Alstonville is not a little place any more."
Mr Daley has called on the police to increase the hours the Alstonville Police station is open.
At Alstonville Plaza yesterday morning, Alstonville Fruit and Veg owner David Herring had an unusual Christmas decoration outside his shop ? the ornamental windmill stolen from a 67year-old woman's front garden and dumped in the Plaza car park on Monday night.
"This is not the first time something like this has hap- pened," Mr Herring said, recalling several incidents at the Plaza, including the ramraid of the bottleshop and the attempted robbery of the ATM.
"It's always the young locals running around, getting up to mischief," he said.
Residents along Wardell Road told The Northern Star they had heard a loud bang on Monday night that resembled a firecracker going off and the voices of young people near the car park.
However, one resident said there were obvious reasons why large groups of young people congregated at the Plaza.
"There's nothing else for them to do," the man, who asked to remain anonymous, said.
"There are that many of them coming out of school and they have no work to go to.
"They need a big entertainment centre. There's everything for the adults to do. We can go to the pubs and the clubs, but what do the young people do?
It's a sentiment repeated among young people in Alstonville.
"This (the rampage) is what happens when the council takes our skate ramps off us," one youth told The Northern Star.