Woman with baby harassed by 'angry' men on bikes
A BYRON Bay woman has warned others to be wary when walking a small bush track near Byron's Main Beach after she was harassed by aggressive men riding bikes.
Kelly Michalak said she was walking a pram with a friends baby through a small bush track near Go Sea Kayak to behind the sports field at Cowper St at about 3.30pm on Thursday when she was approached by two men.
"As I entered track a man rode past on a bike, he rode up ahead to a small clearing in the bush,” she said.
"I felt uneasy so I stopped walking and pretended I was on the phone.
"Another man rode out from the clearing, they both looked up at me and they headed toward me on bikes.
"I turned the pram around and started to walk back out from the track back toward Main Beach.
"The men rode up fast behind me, one of them throwing their bike in the bush right behind me and running toward me.
"The man approached me quite aggressively like he was about to hurt me. He looked quite angry and yelled into my face, repeating what I was saying on the phone, with his arms up.
"The other man rode behind me and the pram.
"I continued walking out from the track onto the road. The man that approached me continued to run across road and down the bike path toward the surf club.
"The other man rode in a different direction before meeting up with other man further along track.
"I was quite shaken up and relieved that I didn't continue walking onto track.
"Just wanted to warn others that may use this short cut to and from the beach, especially young girls and women.”
She said after reporting the incident to police she was advised not to use the track again.
"I am grateful that no physical harm was done to me or the baby though things could have been different in a matter of seconds,” she said.
Facebook users said they also tried to avoid the area.
Serena Manzardo said: "I also avoid that specific shortcut cause last year around sunset I found myself walking past two men who were shooting up and felt uneasy/vulnerable”.
Michele Bauer: "I've had a similar situation right near that track too, I had to report it last year and take it to court. The guy was prosecuted for an act of indecency.”
Jess See Cah: "That track is notorious for stuff like this and guys doing stuff to themselves while kids are playing after school. I have read so many posts about it.”
Tweed/Byron Police District Detective Chief Inspector Brendon Cullen said the area wasn't one police are called to "with any frequency”.
"It's not something we have an issue with in regards to offending occurring there,” he said.
"Byron Bay generally attracts a lot of transient people who sleep rough in the bush and sand dunes areas...from time to time we do have issues but that specific area is not a recidivist area for crime.”