This Holden Commodore station wagon owned Yamba teen Dean Everson was destroyed by fire when a police vehicle parked beside it was torched by rioters at Yamba in the early hours of last Sunday morning.
This Holden Commodore station wagon owned Yamba teen Dean Everson was destroyed by fire when a police vehicle parked beside it was torched by rioters at Yamba in the early hours of last Sunday morning. Adam Hourigan

Innocent victim of Yamba riot

DEAN EVERSON has had a tough couple of weeks.

A close call with a white pointer shark at Turners Beach on the Saturday before last was followed up last weekend with the torching of his car at the tail end of a wild party in one of Yamba’s industrial areas.

Mr Everson’s car was parked immediately next to the police car burnt to a shell in the same riot.

“I had half my life in that car – my phone, my wallet, an iPod, a $400 board, $100 flippers, a $200 esky, paperwork for my Certificate II (in engineering),” the 18-year-old said.

Mr Everson said he had attended the party at Fairtrader Drive on Saturday night, but left by foot about midnight because he was tired.

“I went to a mate’s place up the road and spent the night,” he said.

“The next morning I went to get my car and there was a police officer there who told me it was a crime scene ... I saw my car and just broke down crying.”

Mr Everson said he wasdevastated by the scene, not only because of the material possessions lost, but because he had slept in his car in that location several times previously at other parties.

“I could have been killed. People are talking about this like it’s a joke, but if I was passed out in the car it could have easily been a homicide,” he said.

“It’s disgraceful, people were acting like animals. It’s such a setback for me, especially from some idiots having fun, or whatever they want to call it.”

The teenager works 12 hours a day in two jobs – one at the Clarence River Fisherman’s Co-op in Maclean and another at the Yamba Fish Market – for award wages.

Mr Everson said he planned on becoming a police officer when he was older and couldn’t fathom the disrespect police had been shown in the incident.

Although his car was insured, he said the contents were not.

He said he had already started to receive community support for his losses, including an offer of a board on loan from surf company Foam Children.

Mr Everson said that he was interested in securing an engineering apprenticeship or traineeship as soon as possible in order to secure a trade before starting a career in the police force.



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WEATHER: Thunderstorms, strong winds this afternoon

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