THUGS SMASH TEEN PARTY
A LOCAL teen party became a war zone when eight carloads of gatecrashers laid into the youngsters with bricks, branches, bottles and planks of wood.
Two youths were left with broken jaws and others were treated by ambulance officers at the Fernleigh property on Friday night. The thugs ran and hid in nearby bushland when the police arrived.
EIGHT carloads of thugs armed with branches and bricks invaded an 18th birthday party at Tintenbar on Friday night.
They smashed the jaws of two young people, injured several others and stole mobile phones.
The thugs, aged between 18 and 25, also trashed a bathroom in the house and destroyed a DJ's equipment before police arrived.
About 75 invitations had been sent out for Kristal Byron's 18th birthday party, but the family estimate at least 300 turned up.
The party of mostly Year 12 girls was peaceful until just before midnight when the thugs, male and female and believed to be from Lismore, arrived.
They broke off branches, picked up slabs of timber and bricks before wading into the outdoor party. They picked on individuals by asking them for a smoke and then, irrespective of the answer, assaulting them.
Girls and boys were injured. It was all over in 15 minutes.
When The Northern Star visited the house at Fernleigh yesterday, bloodstains from the brick attack were still evident outside the front door.
"Our kitchen was like an emergency room for people who were hurt," a distraught Kristal said.
Her friend, Beau Ensby, 23, of Ballina, was taken to hospital by ambulance after he was knocked unconscious.
"A guy asked me for a smoke. I said I didn't have one and walked away. That's all I remember," he said yesterday, still dazed.
"My friend told me I was hit in the head with something and my mobile phone was stolen. They tried to take my wallet and keys, but my friends were able to hold them back."
Yesterday, Inspector Glen Gilbert said no arrests had been made, but police were making inquiries.
Kristal's brother Nathan said: "We had a few gatecrashers earlier in the night. They were no trouble, but we suspect they've called their friends in.
"The intruders were ganging up on individuals and I was trying to pull people off each other," he said.
"The people invited were not fighting back. Most are Year 12 school kids and wouldn't know how."
Nathan's friend had offered to DJ for the party. He was hit in the head with a beer bottle and his equipment was destroyed.
Kristal's father, Paul Byron, said a lot of the teenagers were fearful of coming forward to police.
"There's no way we'll be having a party here again, and I think a lot of other people will think twice about it too after hearing about this."
Mr Byron said one intruder punched holes in the bathroom door and smashed beer bottles on the floor.
"We had about 100 people crammed inside our house trying to get away from the fights," he said.
"The days of private parties are gone."
Insp Gilbert urged people hosting large parties to visit their local police station and notify police of the details of the party.
"We can also offer advice on how to manage large parties," he said.