Gang goes on rampage
Camilla Warner, 34, led the group after she heard there was trouble outside the community-owned hall at the Deep Funk in the Forest party on Saturday night.
At 11.30pm the party turned into a rampage of destruction as the bare-chested young men, ranging in age from 17 to 20, smashed parked cars in a violent act that one eyewitness described as ‘carnage’.
“People had blood on their faces, it was like a battle zone,” Ms Warner said. “We walked towards them chanting, ‘love in our heart, love in our heart’. I was on the frontline as we approached and I could hear the sound of glass smashing and we started chanting, ‘stop, stop’.”
The two groups came face-to-face and, as they merged, the fighting and vandalism stopped and people started talking to each other, she said.
Ms Warner said the young men fled moments later when they learned police were on the way.
As of last night police were still investigating the incident and no charges had been laid.
One organiser, who asked not to be named, said the hall event was organised as an over-18 and no alcohol gig in an attempt to deter young people from attending and getting drunk.
Two security guards were injured trying to subdue the young men. The organiser was hit in the face and ‘smashed a few of them in the face with my torch’.
The organiser said the experience put him off holding further parties.
“For three years and after nine gigs we are not doing it any more. I’m so over the local teenagers and their parents and the people who make excuses for them,” he said.
Security officer Tashi Maizey, 30, said she told a group of local kids, who were hanging around, to turn their music down and leave. As they were leaving, about 10 men, stripped down to their jeans, rushed from behind her and pulled the teens from their cars.
“The men were shouting out that they were a Lismore gang. I pinned one to the ground and shouted,
‘What are you on?’ and he told me he was on ice,” Ms Maizey said. She suffered cuts to her feet and was punched in the jaw.
One eyewitness said he saw a man bite parts of the cars they were smashing which he believes is an indication of taking the drug, ice.
Police confirmed five vehicles were reported damaged. Several people went to hospital, some refusing treatment.
When Repentance Creek Hall Committee secretary Garth Kindred and vice-president Lydia Kindred arrived the gang was leaving.
“It was carnage. Car after car was smashed. We saw the look of shock and horror on people’s faces,” Mr Kindred said.
“We will only rent to locals in the future and there will be no advertising of events. It’s closing down the possibilities for keeping the halls going.”