Picnicking women ‘viciously’ assaulted by family taking down QR codes: police

An incident over QR codes at a park in Melbourne’s east has allegedly erupted into a vicious assault, with police saying a family attacked two women in front of their daughters and then set their dog onto two men who came to help.

The women were having a picnic with their two 11-year-old daughters at Slater Reserve in Blackburn North about 4.30pm on Thursday when another family – a man, a woman and their four or five children – arrived.

One of the women who was allegedly assaulted, Jacquelyn.Credit:Nine News

Victoria Police acting Senior Sargeant Graham Ross said on Thursday afternoon that the children who arrived were seen taking down COVID-19 QR codes from park fencing. One of the women who was allegedly assaulted, Jacquelyn, told media their 11-year-old daughters were talking about them removing the QR codes.

“The family approached them and said, ‘What are you saying about us?’, and were actually then [starting] to abuse our children,” she said. “That’s when we walked over to find out what was happening.”

When Jacquelyn’s friend approached the family with her daughter and asked them to stop, they began verbally abusing her, police alleged. They said when Jacquelyn attempted to step in, she was set upon by one of the young girls in the family, who tried to remove the woman’s face mask and kicked her.

They allege Jacquelyn’s friend was then put into a headlock by the mother of the other family, and dragged to the ground before she was kicked by the mother’s other family members.

Alex Kimberley was allegedly bitten by the family’s dog as he attempted to intervene. Credit:Nine News

The children in the family are believed to be aged between eight and 12.

“They started off pushing me [and] kicking me, the daughters, which was quite disgraceful … and they were trying to rip our masks off, telling us that we’re afraid of a cold, we’re afraid of the flu, and then trying to cough on us,” Jacquelyn said.

She said it was when her friend got put in a chokehold that her daughter called police. “I’m very proud of her for doing that,” she said.

“The kids didn’t sleep last night.

“I feel for our kids, I’m devastated that they had to experience something like that.”

Sergeant Ross said two men came to the aid of the women, but the father of the family threatened them and then set his dog – believed to be a Staffordshire terrier – upon them. The dog allegedly bit both the men on the hand.

“This family group, where they’ve come from we don’t know, but they were also at the park – they weren’t wearing masks,” Sergeant Ross said.

“It has just erupted … into a vicious assault of these two ladies, and utilising a dog to attack two males who have tried to help these ladies.”

A close-up of Alex Kimberley’s arm. Credit:Nine News

One of the men who was attacked by the dog, Alex Kimberley, said when he sprinted over to help the women, “a bloke came over with his dog and basically told me if I touch the lady that’s choking the other lady, he’ll knock me out”.

“The next thing I know, the dog’s latched onto my arm,” he said.

“I went to go after them down the street, but I lost them.”

The family who allegedly attacked the women were last seen leaving the park heading towards Grosvenor Street and Rialton Avenue.

The two 11-year-old girls were not injured during the alleged assault, but paramedics had to attend and treat the two women and men.

The father of the family police are searching for is described as a man of Caucasian appearance with a sleeve tattoo on his left arm, a bald head and a goatee. He was wearing black tracksuit pants with distinctive stripes on the side, a black T-shirt and runners during the incident.

The mother of the family has long, dark hair and appeared to be aged in her 30s or 40s.

“We’re appealing today for anyone else that was at the park, that saw this incident, to contact us or contact Crime Stoppers,” Sergeant Ross said.

“But [more] importantly, we’re appealing for this family – the man and the lady with these children – to contact us.”

Our Breaking News Alert will notify you of significant breaking news when it happens. Get it here.

Most Viewed in National

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article