What they aren’t identifying them as yet is “Muslim” and likely never will, but there’s no doubt that most of them are. Police and mounted police were out in force at Chelsea Beach in Melbourne following 3 separate violent attacks on beachgoers by a gang of (mainly Muslim) teenagers.
The Age (h/t Sara S) A man was smashed in the face with a glass bottle at Chelsea beach while other swimmers were bashed and robbed in a spate of violent incidents overnight, police say.
The trouble began about 6pm on Thursday with an altercation between two (Lebanese & Turkish) groups after an argument about jetskis, with riot police storming the foreshore of the seaside suburb not long after.
Later on Thursday it is believed that another group of youths were involved in three separate incidents on the beach between 9.30 and 10.30pm.
Police have been told some swimmers were in the water when the group started rummaging through their unattended belongings on the beach. A male swimmer spotted the thieves and confronted the group and was assaulted before the group fled with mobile phones and purses.
A short time later, police said the group approached three men and assaulted them. One of the victims, a 28-year-old man, also had his phone stolen before the young males fled down the beach.
The group then approached a 19-year-old man who was sitting on the beach and glassed him in the head with a beer bottle. He was taken to hospital where he received stitches. Two other victims were also treated by paramedics for injuries at the scene.
One Chelsea local, who spoke to The Age on the condition of anonymity, said he was standing on the edge of his balcony overlooking the beach when he saw two groups of young men in a stand off at about 6.30pm.
‘‘They started screaming at each other and within a few seconds they started punching and brawling,’’ he said. ‘‘About a dozen police were there within seconds trying to break up the two groups and then shortly after that another 20 police officers stormed the area.’’
‘‘I saw some of the men driving recklessly on the jetskis … against water laws … they were going right up to swimmers in the water and just causing trouble,’’ a resident said. The local, whose family has lived in the area for more than 40 years, said he no longer felt safe to go to the beach on hot nights.
‘‘It’s a real problem in Chelsea, the area has really deteriorated in recent years,’’ he said. There are fears that the violence at Chelsea is a result of a police crackdown at St Kilda beach with offenders simply moving down the bay to their next coastal target.
Earlier this month, shocking footage emerged of the moment two men were ambushed and bashed unconscious in an “unprovoked, random, senseless and brutal” attack by a group of 20 youths on the St Kilda foreshore.
Chelsea has seen beach violence already this summer. On December 6, on another hot night which saw a beefed up police presence in St Kilda, a violent brawl broke out between two groups on Bath Street.