Police seek witnesses to assault

POLICE are appealing for witnesses following an assault on a 50-year-old Byron Bay man and a 43-year-old man from Alstonville at McDonald’s in Ballina.

The incident happened at 4pm on Tuesday when a group of three males was asked to leave the restaurant, and then the grounds, after consuming alcohol and abusing staff and customers. A staff member who asked the group to leave was punched in the face and knocked unconscious momentarily.

Another male customer came to his aid and tried to stop the group from leaving the scene, but was punched repeatedly in the face.

Both victims were taken to Ballina Hospital, where one of the men was admitted. He was later released.

Ballina police station manager Mat Johnson said police in Ballina were investigating the incident.

Already, police have found items that will allow DNA samples to be taken.

Mr Johnson said a vehicle of interest was also seen leaving the McDonald’s.

He said the assault was not linked to an earlier hit and run in the McDonald’s car park on New Year’s Day.

“There haven’t been any other incidents over the New Yearperiod. These have just been two random incidents,” he said.

“Having two in less than a week is very out of the ordinary.”

Mr Johnson said although a number of witnesses had alre-ady helped them with their inquiries, police were requesting assistance from the public.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is encouraged to contact Ballina police on 6681 8699.

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