Witness to sickening Byron Bay attack
A BYRON Bay bartender who lashed out on social media this week after witnessing a sickening attack in the town's main street struck a nerve, with his post attracting more than 3000 likes in just a couple of days.
Dion Brown's outburst at tourists who commit violence in Byron was prompted by seeing a "scrawny" teenager get king-hit in the street on Monday at 1am.
The 26-year-old said a group of 10 males from the Gold Coast walked past the teenager and then surrounded him.
"What have I done wrong? Why are you crowding around me," Dion heard the young guy say, before one of the group punched him in the head.
"Sleep c - t, sleep!" the perpetrator told his victim
The teenager lay on the ground for a while, before getting to his feet shaking.
Mr Brown said had he intervened he also would have become a victim.
He said he later pointed out to police passing by in a patrol car the group of men responsible but he believes they were never arrested.
He said he had witnessed violence before on Byron streets but this one took the cake for gutlessness as the perpetrators chose such a defenceless, outnumbered victim.
"I'm just sick of it. It needs to stop," Mr Brown said.
"People shouldn't have to worry about this.
"They should be able to go out and have a good night without worrying about having to end up in hospital."
Mr Brown said judging by the response his post received - with more than 200 mostly positive comments - he was not alone and hoped publicising what he witnessed would help raise awareness of the issue.
Nurses at Byron Bay Hospital were also on the receiving end of violence from alcohol and drug-affected people, the facility's nurse manager Liz McCall told a community forum earlier this month.
On Christmas Eve last year, for example, nurses had to call police four times due to patients' behaviour, she said.
Ms McCall has recently begun working on a two-year independent research project into the impact on Byron nurses of the high level of alcohol-related illnesses and injury they are exposed to.
The project is supported by the Northern NSW Local Health and funded through the Health Education and Training Institute.