Bat-wield­ing at­tack

Stu­dents bravely stop as­sault on lec­turer

The Weekend Post - - Nation -

THREE stu­dents have been praised after rush­ing to help a fe­male Aus­tralian Na­tional Univer­sity lec­turer be­ing at­tacked with a base­ball bat.

A stu­dent, 18, sprang from his seat in the statis­tics lec­ture in Can­berra at about 9.15am yes­ter­day and as­saulted the lec­turer with the bat.

Three stu­dents, one male and two fe­male, ran up to save her. De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Ben Cartwright would not be spec­u­late whether the young, white male’s vi­o­lent out­burst was racially mo­ti­vated.

Sev­eral of the stu­dents were Asian, but the lec­turer’s back­ground is un­known.

“It is too early to de­ter­mine the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind this,” Supt Cartwright said.

“All in­di­ca­tions are that it is an iso­lated in­ci­dent.”

The youth is not known to po­lice or in­tel­li­gence agen­cies.

“He put up a fight when he had the base­ball bat but once it was taken off him the stu­dents were able to re­strain him and cam­pus se­cu­rity re­strained him un­til po­lice ar­rived,” Supt Cartwright said.

Those caught in the as­sault suf­fered in­juries in­clud­ing bro­ken bones and have been taken to Can­berra Hospi­tal.

“In­cred­i­ble brav­ery on their be­half,” Supt Cartwright said. “I be­lieve one of the stu­dents ac­tu­ally took the bat from the stu­dent … and then re­turned later and given it to po­lice.”

Cam­pus se­cu­rity staff raised the alarm after re­strain­ing the stu­dent and po­lice ar­rived soon af­ter­wards.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing and the univer­sity is of­fer­ing sup­port to those af­fected.

“The univer­sity’s first pri­or­ity is the wel­fare of our staff and stu­dents, coun­selling ser­vices are be­ing pro­vided,” said an ANU spokesper­son.

ANU deputy vice chan­cel­lor Marni Hughes-War­ring­ton said she was moved by the stu­dents’ brav­ery.

“We’re a small com­mu­nity, … we re­ally care for one an­other,” she said.

“This is an iso­lated and ran­dom in­ci­dent that’s hap­pened in a very car­ing com­mu­nity.”

Stu­dents were sent a mes­sage fol­low­ing the at­tack.

“You may be aware that ear­lier today an in­ci­dent oc­curred in the Co­p­land precinct of the ANU cam­pus. There is no threat to the safety and se­cu­rity of staff and stu­dents on cam­pus,” the mes­sage read.

“If you or some­one you know is in dis­tress or needs as­sis­tance, help is avail­able.”

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