Police investigate a car accident at the scene of a brawl in Mater Street, Collingwood in Melbourne. Picture: Julian Smith
Police investigate a car accident at the scene of a brawl in Mater Street, Collingwood in Melbourne. Picture: Julian Smith

Seven injured after ‘wild’ brawl involving up to 200 people

POLICE say they are horrified by the behaviour of up to 200 individuals after a wild brawl inside a live music venue in Melbourne spilled out onto the street.

Seven people were injured after a car accelerated towards the crowd at top speed during the brawl in Collingwood.

One 18-year-old man was pinned against a parked car and taken to hospital as a result, sustaining a serious leg injury.

Commander Tim Hanson from Victoria Police said the incident began inside the Gasometer Hotel and despite police being "aware of the event" and tasking resources to patrol the area, they arrived shortly after the main incident occurred and missed the major affray.

One man was hit by the car and blood and debris were scattered along the street.

"Police were called and attended shortly after … we deployed resources in search of both offenders and witnesses," Commander Hanson said.

"Some key persons who we're keen to speak with left the incident prior to police arrival or upon police arrival. We conducted a search of the immediate vicinity but were unable to locate any of those persons at that time due to the complexity of the environment in which we were operating in."

The fight broke out inside the Gasometer as a large crowd of up to 200 people left the venue early Sunday morning at approximately 2.45am.

A large number of patrons then moved out onto nearby streets where fighting continued. As a result of the affray, six other men, aged between 18-21, sustained various ranges of injuries and were taken to hospital.

"It's an affray (and) from where I'm standing, horrific behaviour," Commander Hanson said.

ABC News reporter Yvette Gray said "neighbours say they saw dozens of young people fighting each other and jumping on cars".

Collingwood is known as one of Melbourne's most "hipster" neighbourhoods and is a hub for Melbourne's music scene, with venues hosting regular punk and indie gigs.

 

The scene this morning outside the live music venue.
The scene this morning outside the live music venue.

 

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding an incident in Collingwood early Sunday morning. Picture: Sarah Matray
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding an incident in Collingwood early Sunday morning. Picture: Sarah Matray

 

Blood is seen on a car at the scene of a brawl in Mater Street, Collingwood. Picture: Julian Smith
Blood is seen on a car at the scene of a brawl in Mater Street, Collingwood. Picture: Julian Smith

The car struck a pedestrian, leaving the man with serious leg injuries, while six others have injuries that were described as non-life threatening. All were taken to hospital.

Police are investigating how the vehicle crashed into parked cars and hit the man.

One person, deemed a witness, is assisting police with inquiries, however from his evidence it is anticipated an arrest will occur shortly.

"It was certainly a chaotic scene when police arrived last night and there were people we certainly endeavoured to apprehend," Commander Hanson said.

It is unclear what triggered the violence, but police believe there was some "angst" inside the music venue where an industry launch was taking place at the time.

"From there it spilled out into the street. We're working through and trying to understand the cause of the incident.

The main offender who was the driver of the car is still on the run.

"He was going at a blistering pace and he was f***ing aiming for people straight at them," a neighbour told the Herald Sun.

"Everyone was screaming. I didn't see the moment of impact but it was clear he had just one agenda, to annihilate people."

Three vehicles are damaged, including the one the alleged offender used and two parked vehicles.

Police believe there may be other people who are key persons of interest.

Authorities are not confident the car attack was a deliberate act.

"There is nothing to suggest there is any thing sinister in regard to a terror attack, there's no link to something far more sinister.

"When we get an opportunity to speak to a suspect we will put allegations to him or her.

"As I understand it was patrons versus patrons from a fight that initiated inside the premises," Commander Hanson said.

"As I'm advised we became aware of this event yesterday afternoon. We had our operational response unit and those units were tasked to have a patrol presence around the hotel.

"We were concerned because history shows us that a demographic of the crowd we're talking about, primarily Pacific Islanders and African Australians, we were advised because of that, because it's an event in the CBD or immediate surrounds, it's not uncommon for us to keep an eye on certain locations."

The demographic of those involved in the fight were a mix of the two communities, police said.

Police say they have a person of interest "we're keen to speak to", and are hopeful conversations will take place within the next 24-hours.

 

Police investigate the scene of the brawl. Picture: Julian Smith
Police investigate the scene of the brawl. Picture: Julian Smith

 

Debris was scattered across the road. Picture: Julian Smith
Debris was scattered across the road. Picture: Julian Smith

The vehicle had not been reported as stolen and authorities have spoken with the owner.

Blood could be seen splattered across a parked car while debris from the incident was left scattered across the road.

Witness Josh Whelan told the ABC the scene was chaotic, saying he saw the car "hurtling" towards the scene at high speed.

"It was screaming and smashing, it was riot noise," he said.

 

Blood on the footpath. Picture: Sarah Matray
Blood on the footpath. Picture: Sarah Matray

 

Police have been told up to 200 people were leaving an event at a licensed premises when a fight broke out about 2.45am. Picture: Sarah Matray
Police have been told up to 200 people were leaving an event at a licensed premises when a fight broke out about 2.45am. Picture: Sarah Matray

- Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has information have been asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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