Hor­ror or­deal at food out­let

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Nathan Paull nathan. paull@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A YOUNG woman has spo­ken out about her ter­ri­fy­ing or­deal dur­ing a late night fast-food run when her car was set upon by a gang try­ing to break in and pelted with rocks.

The 20-year-old James Cook Univer­sity stu­dent, who asked not to be named for fear of ret­ri­bu­tion, said she was wait­ing in the Nathan St McDon­ald’s drive-through early Satur­day morn­ing with her girlfriends, aged 17, 18 and two 19, when her car was am­bushed by t hree ‘ ‘ ex­tremely in­tox­i­cated’’ peo­ple.

She hopes that by speak­ing out, authorities will im­prove se­cu­rity at the trou­blespot.

‘ ‘ They were reach­ing through the win­dows and then opened the doors on the left side of the car, reach­ing into the girls ( and) grab­bing them,’’ she said.

‘‘ We were in the mid­dle of pay­ing at the time and the McDon­ald’s em­ployee who was serv­ing us at the win­dow who was a male just stood there and said noth­ing.

‘‘ Ob­vi­ously scared, I put my foot down and we drove out of there with­out col­lect­ing our or­dered food.’’

The ter­ri­fied girl said af­ter calm­ing down on the side of the road, she de­cided to go back to col­lect the food, but it was then things re­ally got out of hand.

She said af­ter be­ing told by the same em­ployee at­tacks like the one they just ex­pe­ri­enced were all too com­mon, a much larger group of be­tween eight to 10 drunk peo­ple ap­peared and be­gan hit­ting a car in front of hers.

The vic­tim said she then took an­other exit, but when she turned on to Nathan St, the group had be­gan to chase her, with one of the women in the group hurl­ing a hand­ful of rocks at her car.

‘‘ We first heard them hit the side and then the back left pas­sen­ger win­dow smashed, cov­er­ing the three girls in glass,’’ she said.

‘‘ The one clos­est to the win­dow, who was un­der­age, saw the rock fly through the win­dow, an inch from her face.

‘‘ The glass shat­tered but re­mained in place apart from a clearly de­fined hole which the rock made.’’

The woman said she could not un­der­stand why there was no se­cu­rity present at the time and McDon­ald’s staff did not rush to their aid.

A store man­ager told the Bul­letin she was not au­tho­rised to com­ment on the in­ci­dent and the only per­son who could was on hol­i­days.

Mund­ing burra po­lice of­fi­cer -in - charge Se­nior - Sergeant Graeme Pater­son con­firmed po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent, and he con­ceded large groups were a prob­lem for po­lice from time to time.

‘‘ Peo­ple acting in trou­ble­some groups some­times feel more courage to com­mit of­fences and they think they will be less ac­count­able for their ac­tions, or less likely to be caught,’’ he said.

‘‘ We take the rights of de­cent peo­ple be­ing able to move freely within our com­mu­nity with­out fear of at­tack from this riff raff se­ri­ously.

‘‘ I sug­gest peo­ple who en­counter sit­u­a­tions like this call po­lice im­me­di­ately.’’

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion should call Townsville po­lice on 4759 9777 or Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

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