Pack of girls attacked me, says Chinese on working holiday

2524 Chengxi Yang pic 2By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

It was her first shift at Maccas. She started at 10pm and the shift ended at 2am on Sunday.

 

When she left she discovered her bike had been stolen, so she set out on foot to the home of a friend in the Old Eastside, where she is staying.

 

In front of the Todd Tavern she was set upon by eight or nine girls who pulled her hair, punched her, threw her to the ground and kicked her.

 

She ran into the causeway where the attack continued.

 

She was hanging on to her handbag which contained her most important possessions – IDs, credit card, mobile phone, passport: “I was using my life to defend it,” she says.

 

2524 Chengxi Yang pic 4“Give me money. Give me the bag, the girls screamed,” she says.

 

In her police interview later she described the girls as “Aboriginal teens”.

 

“One girl was tall, much bigger than I.”

 

She estimated the girls were aged 13 to 17.

 

“I was crying on the ground. I was begging them to stop … please stop, please stop.

 

“I was at the end of my strength” when a taxi pulled up, managed to stop the attack, and take her to her home. She still had the bag.

 

“I got home at 3am. Dragging the exhausted body to bed. I couldn’t fall into sleep at all. My heart was beating so fast. With tears falling off my cheek.”

 

2524 Chengxi Yang pic 5She is 23 years old, from south-eastern China, a graduate, visiting Australia on a holiday visa.

 

She’d been in town for three weeks and was going to stay for a month or two.

 

Now she doesn’t know. But she is speaking out to warn others.

 

Meanwhile police say at around 1:15am on Saturday a 22 year old man and 19 year old woman were walking on Bath Street, in the CBD, when they were allegedly confronted by two male youths.

 

A further 10 to 12 unknown persons appeared and allegedly demanded and took money before assaulting the man and stealing the woman’s mobile phone.

 

The group ran off when they were interrupted by Night Patrol.

 

 

UPDATE Friday, 2:50am

 

A McDonald’s spokesperson has provided the following statement: “We are deeply shocked by this incident and our foremost concern is for our team member. As this is an ongoing investigation, all questions should be directed to the police.”

 

We have received no reply these follow-up questions:

 

• Was the staff member warned about the risk a woman walking on her own at 2am in the streets of Alice Springs would face?

 

• Was she offered a lift home?

 

• In what way will your “foremost concern” manifest itself?”

 

UPDATE March 26, 4:29pm

             

Police have arrested three people in relation to two separate incidents of stealing with violence in Alice Springs last week.

 

It will be alleged around 1:15am on Sunday March 18, a 22-year-old man and 19-year-old woman were walking on Bath Street when they confronted by two male youths who physically assaulted the man before running off with a sum of cash and a mobile phone.

 

A 12-year-old boy and 15-year-old male youth were charged with aggravated robbery and have been remanded in custody to appear before the Alice Springs Youth Justice Court on April 6.

 

Police arrested a 16-year-old female in relation to a separate incident in which a woman was physically assaulted on the morning of Sunday March 18.

 

It will be alleged a 23-year-old woman was walking on Undoolya Road around 2am when she was approached from behind by a group of females who attempted to grab her backpack off her.

 

A 16-year-old female will face one count of assault with attempt to steal and appear in the Alice Springs Youth Justice Court today.

 

 

 

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28 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. Surprised!
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Well done to the police.
    So now, a damn good talking too and a metaphorical slap on the wrist and our thoughts will be diverted to the new art centre.
    Hopefully this may kickstart Ms Wakefield’s career into child welfare and the consequences of breaking the law.
    I live in hope.

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  2. Heather Wells
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    What about the youth patrols / night patrols being available to those fast food outlets if staff need a lite night ride home.
    Just a number pinned to the staff notice board is all it would take.
    Or are these vehicles only for those kids, teenagers who usually run and hide when they see either police vans or these vans?

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  3. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 9:51 am

    @ Ray, Posted March 22, 2018 at 11:22 pm
    I maintain that if anyone must insult, do it with your name.
    Village has more than a definition and is not relevant to our contemporary way of life. So let us use the word Community.
    The people who helped were neighbours, strangers in the street, as well as professionals, of course.
    I still look after children who are not Aborigines, and do not believe in spanking, but in strong voice if needed. One mother told me: “Do not raise your voice when you talk to children. I wonder about the future behaviour of the child.

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  4. Hal Duell
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 9:51 am

    @Surprised!
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 7:17 am
    @Local1
    Posted March 22, 2018 at 11:30 pm
    I think that Maccas has a clear duty of care when it involves turning a young employee out onto what are acknowledged unsafe streets at 2am.
    And this after discovering her bike had been stolen, presumably from Maccas earlier in the evening while she was working.
    In saying this I am in no way trying to excuse or mitigate the actions of those who attacked her, but my advice would be to seek legal advice on Maccas responsibility toward its employees.

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  5. Surprised!
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 7:17 am

    @ Local1: Yep agree, the employer has responsibilities, BUT this is not about the employer.
    Please don’t try to shift the focus of topic, or you risk being labelled a pollie!
    This is about animalistic behaviour, lets deal with that issue. Involving other parties is a pathetic attempt to shift responsibility.
    In addition, if it wasn’t for this continuous types disgusting behaviours, the employer wouldn’t even be implicated anyway.

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  6. Local1
    Posted March 22, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Would be interesting to see the outcome if Worksafe was contacted about this.
    Absolutely the company has a duty to their employees, there should certainly be a policy dealing with the safety of employees departing late at night, especially where the hazards of this town are so well known.
    Regardless, the employer has a duty to identify the risk and put controls in place, this would include making the staff finishing their shift aware of the risk to their health and safety by not having suitable transport home, and alternatives if transport was not available.
    It could be a journey claim if the worker was traveling directly home at the completion of a shift.
    A case in point is the woman attacked by the magpie, losing her eye on her way to work.
    A joint responsibility between the employer and the shopping center, especially as the hazard had previously been identified.
    There are additional duties imposed if it involves young or inexperienced workers.

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  7. Ray
    Posted March 22, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    @ Evelyne: I, like Laurence, write under a pseudonym due to where we work.
    Erwin knows me, and he certainly understands the implications if I used my real name.
    I do however enjoy the opportunity to contribute to community discussion without the fear of disciplinary action taken against me/us, and in the past, I have both agreed with you and shared arguments as well
    I do agree that it takes a village to raise a child, as long as we live in a village, where a small number of people all must contribute to ensuring the survival of all.
    Many villages in the traditional sense would be no more than 100 people. We are not a village, we are a large town with many different groups, cultures, beliefs, and expectations, and that expression is not relevant to our contemporary way of life.
    The problem people like me have with this “throw away” expression is that it deflects responsibility, where people can say: “It’s not my fault, it takes a village to raise a child, so its the fault of the villagers, not me.”
    Wrong, you gave the example of how you raised your children, I am raising mine and Dr Who raised his.
    The people who helped were not villagers, they were paid professionals offering a service.
    The concept of a village implies aunties, uncles, and close-knit members of a small group.
    In those days if the kids mucked up, they would be given a clip under the ear by another villager who you knew.
    Would you be happy with somebody smacking your child for running amok in Woolies?
    Those days of a village are long gone, and the people who have the primary responsibility for raising the child are the parents, nobody else.
    Yes, we may use doctors or teachers or police to augment our responsibilities, but the buck stops with the family.
    The problem is many of the youths running wild today are from parents who probably were raised in that village environment, out bush on traditional lands, where the kids could run wild.
    Unfortunately, the concept of urban drift has occurred, yet the additional responsibility that goes with living in an urban environment is not understood by these parents.
    The grandparents probably say: “That’s alright, you used to run around when you were kids” without the understanding that the dangers of today were not there in those days, let alone the propensity to use violence to survive and then thrive on the streets.
    My problem is that the euphemism of taking a village to raise a child ignores that fact that village life is far different to life in modern society, and is used as an excuse to abdicate responsibility.

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  8. Chris2
    Posted March 22, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Indeed! Is Alice Springs heading towards anarchy not unlike Port Moresby where gangs known as rascals make the streets unsafe and law abiding citizens live behind razor wire?
    The problem is, when there is no deterrent for crime and anti-social behaviour there is no reason to change your ways.
    The kiss and release touchy feely approach to criminals is a total failure and grounds for the police minister to be tapped on the shoulder by his colleges and moved on.

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  9. James T Smerk
    Posted March 22, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    I’m sure it won’t be long until there are incidents where weapons are used in ‘defence’, Unfortunately i can just see the people defending themselves being the ones that get punished and not the offenders.

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  10. Psuedo Guru
    Posted March 22, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Alice Springs anarchy reigns happily. Laws prevent action. WHAT A MESS.

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  11. Surprised!
    Posted March 21, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    When did we accept that the norm is to “not park there, for fear our car will br trashed, stay inside after dark, be careful when walking or jogging, don’t go away for fear your house may be broken into.”
    What’s wrong with everyone? Why do we put up with this crap in such a great town?
    So now should I buy pepper spray or a taser, just to protect myself? Sure it’s illegal, but continual FA by the pollies will eventually force normal law abiding citizens into taking these kinds of measures in order to defend their personal safety.
    Then of course, the do gooders will jump on the wagon with the poor little darlings had a hard childhood. Well, plenty of others did too, but that doesn’t give them the right to act like wild animals.
    Why should we have to live like this?

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  12. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted March 21, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Laurence, accept my apology for your my remarks about your pseudonym. I suppose I was upset by your rich colorful language telling me that I am an idiot because of my beliefs: “Usual useful idiots chanting that it takes the whole of a village to raise a child.” Your quote, not mine! So I thought if I need to be insulted I want to know the person who does it; fair?
    I quote Hillary Clinton to show that “village” does not mean buildings, but “community”.

    View Comment
  13. Mabel
    Posted March 20, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    Have a look at the dog problems on Aboriginal communities.
    They are left to fend for themselves when they stop being small and cute.
    But you need to look after puppies so they can be loyal with plenty of time spent with them so they learn right from wrong.
    The same principle applies to these kids who are out of control. They’re not cute anymore and they have to fend for themselves.

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  14. Surprised!
    Posted March 20, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Very disgusting. If it was a polly’s daughter we may see some real action, but alas we we’ll see some asinine, politically correct political promises, like we’re “Gunner” do this.
    When will we actually do something to prevent this?

    View Comment
  15. Laurence
    Posted March 20, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    @ Evelyne Roullet: Thank you for putting your name on your posts, but what has that got to do with what I wrote? But thanks for pointing out that my name is a pseudonym, I guess the gig is up and we thousands of Laurences will have to revert to our true name of Laurence.
    Describing yourself as a useful idiot is your prerogative and until I see evidence to the contrary I can only accept your judgement of this.
    Then quoting Hillary Clinton moved the debate to a whole new level.

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  16. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted March 20, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    I have questions for Maccas supervisor and staff:
    • She started at 10pm and the shift ended at 2am on Sunday. She must be tired.
    • When she left she discovered her bike had been stolen. Does Maccas have no secure parking for staff?
    • So she set out on foot to the home of a friend in the Old Eastside, where she is staying. Could anyone, as she was not alone, have given her a lift? Or called a taxi? I was under impression that it was the employer’s responsibility to insure the safety of their employees.

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  17. James T Smerk
    Posted March 20, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    This event will stay with this young lady for life. I hope she is able to move on from it.
    It’s just a matter of time till an event occurs and someone is killed (like a coward’s punch).
    God help this Government if this happens as there will be anarchy. Unfortunately I fear the people with the power won’t care until it affects them personally.

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  18. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted March 20, 2018 at 11:07 am

    @ Karen. Hillary Clinton:”Twenty years ago, I wrote a book called ‘It Takes a Village.’ And a lot of people looked at the title and asked, ‘What the heck do you mean by that?’ This is what I mean. None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community or lift a country totally alone.”

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  19. Red
    Posted March 20, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Youth crime in Alice springs is getting out of hand. Just last night I was verbally assaulted by a youth for no reason at all. I feel sorry for them – obviously they have not been raised right. Sad that they’ve been let down. Sad also that the wider Alice Springs community has to suffer the consequences of the terrible parenting of these kids.

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  20. Karen
    Posted March 20, 2018 at 8:53 am

    I agree with you Laurence, “Every Word”. When did we become a Village? Did I miss something? Is Laurence not your real name, are you anonymous? Who really cares?

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  21. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted March 20, 2018 at 8:14 am

    @Thea “In any other country, you just can’t imagine how a group of kids can be so evil”? In all countries included Australia.“Youth violence is a global public health problem. It includes a range of acts from bullying and physical fighting, to more severe sexual and physical assault to homicide.” WHO (World Health Organisation)
    I have been attacked in Sydney by a gang of white girls and in full day light; attacked on the platform of a Brisbane train station by a gang of young boys, once again white and full day light. Evil is everywhere;but it does not mean we cannot do something about it. I believe a curfew should at least be tried.

    @Dr Who I agree :”It is hard by yourself sometimes, but not impossible”. I myself single handed raised 4 kids in this town, all in their 50s now, but what a call. The village was with me like it was with you even if you did not realise it because if your boys were so young you must have had help when you were working: neighbours, teachers, police officers etc all those people who make a “village”.

    “Although there are no national data on youth gangs in Australia there is a perception that youth gangs are an emerging problem. This paper draws largely on overseas attempts to deal with gang related activity and the extent to which they have been successful. The most successful interventions have some combination of coercive and developmental measures. A key issue for both policy makers and practitioners is the weight given to particular measures within the context of an overall strategy”. From Australian Institute of Criminology: Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No. 274.

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  22. Michael Dean
    Posted March 20, 2018 at 12:22 am

    @ Thea: Money is being spent on education … billions … for years, the beneficiaries, the teachers. And now this is what we have.

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  23. Thea
    Posted March 19, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    @ Laurence. It’s her work and night shift. There is no way a little girl like her should walk home at night. The reason she speaks out is to remind other residents or travelers to be more careful.
    What’s most important, shouldn’t the Alice Springs council do something to prevent this?
    These cases happened more than once. It’s a bad image for Alice Springs.
    I feel so shameful for those criminals. In any other country, you just can’t imagine how a group of kids can be so evil.
    Someone needs to be held responsible and accountable for it.
    Shouldn’t alcohol be banned for people without conscience and reason?
    Shouldn’t a curfew be adopted to prevent a group of kids hanging around at night?
    Shouldn’t money be invested to get those kids educated?
    It’s more than an accident. It’s a social problem now.

    View Comment
  24. Hal Duell
    Posted March 19, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    And again, and again, and again.
    “Naughty” children – my ass.
    Slowly the veneer of civilisation slips away. We live in a third world town.

    View Comment
  25. Dr Who
    Posted March 19, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Lawrence: I have to sadly agree with your comments, “a whole village”.
    Well, let me say as a single father I brought up two boys myself from age of two and five.
    They are now almost in their mid 20s, working here in town, good jobs, no issues.
    It is hard by yourself sometimes, but not impossible. Time to make these parents responsible and make kids go to school, etc. But it seems it’s all to hard and against the new PC brigade. I can’t see it changing anymore. Sadly.

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  26. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted March 19, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Laurence: I am one of those useful idiots chanting that it takes the whole of a village to raise a child.
    But, Laurence, this idiot has the guts to put her name to her posts. How can we take advice from an anonymous source? And who knows, the village could be healthier with people proud of their ideas and opinions?
    You cannot publish your name? Because of your job? Your family? Get rid of them if this stops you to be true to yourself.
    It takes the whole of a village to raise a child does not mean that the village has no rules. To the contrary. A village has expectations, behaviours, boundaries.
    Breach of rules and crimes must be punished.

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  27. Psuedo Guru
    Posted March 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Other countries use lethal force?

    View Comment
  28. Laurence
    Posted March 19, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    I wonder what these horrid people did to these poor misunderstood youth. As we all know they are surely perfect angels and I for one cannot understand why these sweet, misunderstood little darlings have not been canonised.
    But I have no doubt it’s their own fault for walking the streets at night as we now seem to have the art of victim blaming down pat.
    It’s never the fault of these little arseholes, it is always someone else’s or something’s fault.
    How about we all focus on the reality which is that no amount of hand-wringing or “world’s best practice” are going to make an iota of difference.
    Can’t wait to hear from the usual useful idiots chanting that it takes the whole of a village to raise a child.

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