Police warn people not to walk streets at night

DETECTIVES have intensified a search for three thugs who bashed two men in North Lismore on the weekend.

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward and help with two investigations into weekend bashings.

Just after midnight last Friday, a 34-year-old man was walking near the roundabout at Terania and Bridge streets when he was approached by three men asking for a cigarette.

One of the men allegedly started to hit the victim, while the other two stood nearby.

The three men then left the injured man at the intersection, where a passer-by stopped to help him.

An ambulance later rushed the injured man to Lismore Base Hospital, where he was treated and later released.

The attackers broke his nose and fractured his eye socket.

Police wish to speak to a man in relation to the incident, described as Caucasian, about 183cm tall and wearing a white singlet.

Investigators would also like to speak to a number of people who they believe witnessed the incident, including a taxi driver and also the passer-by who went to the man's aid.

Police also suspect the group of men are connected to a similar assault earlier the same evening, just down the street.

About 7pm, a 38-year-old man was attacked by two men while he was walking across Coleman's Bridge on his way home.

The victim was also taken to Lismore Base Hospital with injuries to his nose, face and back.

Police described both men as Caucasian and in their mid-30s. One was about 157cm tall, thin, with ginger/brown cropped hair, clean shaven and wearing a T-shirt. The other was about 177cm tall, solid build, clean shaven and was wearing a baseball-style cap.

"These are cowardly attacks," police crime prevention officer Senior Constable Michael Hogan said.

"We can't say for sure that these two incidents are related, but it is highly likely.

"Obviously these offenders are looking for easy prey and they target people who are going out for a good time.

"So people need to plan ahead so they don't find themselves in a situation where they are walking home alone late at night.

"The offenders see an opportunity and they seize it."

Snr Const Hogan recommended people avoid walking home in the dark by themselves, using a bus, taxi or designated driver to make sure they get home safely.

"If you are walking home, make sure you stay in a group which will make the offenders think twice before choosing you as their target," he said.

Anyone who can help police with their inquiries into the two incidents is urged to contact Lismore police on 6626 0599, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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