SURROUNDED by a gang of teens on bikes with one threatening him with a pair of secateurs, an Alstonville man said he thought he was a goner.
Simon who lives in Alstonville, said the moment when he was threatened he really thought his life was over.
"I came across the teenagers when they were smashing things up outside the St Vincent de Paul Op Shop and damaging the garden there," he said.
"I saw them off and when they turned back at me making threats, I thought I was a goner," he said.
"Then when I was walking past the RSL sub-branch I heard a noise and at the last moment I turned around to see a kid flying down the footpath on his bike holding out a pair of secateurs in his hand. I was scared."
Surrounded by six teenagers whom he said looked to be aged between 13 and 17 years of age, Simon who did not want to give his last name, said he managed to talk the teen holding the secateurs to lower them and place them in his pocket before riding off.
"I'm 61 years old with prostate cancer," he said.
"I'm not the sort of person who is easily intimidated but this was a pretty terrifying ordeal."
Alstonville has seen a spate of increasingly serious crime allegedly committed by the teenage gang and a friend in town then persuaded Simon to speak with the Ballina police and report the incident.
Simon said he was really taken aback by how kind, supportive and professional the police were when he gave his story.
"The police at Ballina, especially Senior Constable Laleynya Ryan, were magnificent," he said.
"She said if you don't stand up for the community, who will? I was so blown away by the respect they showed, the police were really great."
Simon said he was impressed the police even called him the next day to thank him for having the courage to report the incident.
"Senior Constable Ryan rang me to check I was okay and she thanked me for standing up for the community," he said.
"She said we have to stand up for each other and thanked me for helping the community."
However, Simon is not after vengeance for the attack.
"I've seen other people take the path they are on and it leads to nothing but boy's homes, youth detention, crime and jail," he said.
"Vengeance is not justice, I want these kids to turn their lives around for good."
And Simon is not about to let this incident colour his love for the town.
"I think the people in Alstonville are the kindest anywhere," he said.
"Alstonville is the nicest place I've ever lived."
Inspector Chris Yorke from Richmond LAC said he was pleased with this positive feedback.
He said people should always contact police with even minor complaints.
"We are very proactive in our patrols," he said.
"If you need assistance then contact local police or in an emergency call triple 0."