‘I was lucky not to die’
A QUICK trip to the neighbourhood dairy almost ended in tragedy for Darryn Otene.
The Mt Roskill resident is in hospital with a broken nose, shattered cheekbone and numerous cuts after a man bashed him twice in the head with a metal baseball bat outside the White Swan Superette on Monday evening.
“There was a big guy standing behind me holding a baseball bat,” he says of the attack that happened shortly before 7pm.
“He mumbled something. I looked away briefly and he raised the bat and hit me, then hit me on the ground.
“I’d just finished work, had a shower and was going back to help cook dinner.”
Mr Otene says he was saved from further injuries by a customer in the dairy who yelled at him to come back inside the shop.
“I staggered back and they closed the door straight away.
“After he struck me, some people started chasing after him.
“It was pretty busy at that time of day.”
Mr Otene says he doesn’t know why the attacker came after him.
He wasn’t robbed and he believes the man may have been on drugs.
“I think he just wanted to bash me.”
But he says the situation could have been a lot worse.
“I was lucky not to die. It’s not like he just tapped me – he put all his strength into it.
“I’m glad it wasn’t a lady or an older person that was struck.”
Despite the attack, the 43-yearold says he’s determined to stay in Mt Roskill, where his lives with his partner and her two children.
“The attack just happened out of the blue. It’s strange because it’s a really nice area.”
Mr Otene says he’s had great support from the staff at Pak’nSave Mt Albert, where he works as a forklift driver.
Sherilyn Ryan, who helped Mr Otene into the superette after the assault, says it’s something she will never forget.
“I heard a clunk and didn’t think anything more of it. Then I heard it again.
“When I turned around I saw this guy hammering Darryn over the head with what I thought was a metal bar. His face was turning black.”
She says the random nature of the attack is strange.
“It didn’t make sense. A normal attacker wouldn’t do it when there were so many people around in broad daylight at a busy intersection.
“I’ve lived in Mt Roskill for 40 years and never heard of anything like this before. It’s not what you expect to see.”
Mr Otene described his attacker as a Pacific Islander in his late teens or early 20s and about 1.8 metres tall.
He was wearing a black nylon jacket and shorts, while the bat was mainly silver with a distinctive pink handle.
Mr Otene is now waiting for the swelling on his face to subside before undergoing reconstructive surgery next week.
Constable Jennie Nicholas says police are still in the early stages of their investigation, taking witness statements and looking at security footage.
Anyone with information can contact Ms Nicholas on 820-5771.
Random assault: Mt Roskill resident Darryn Otene is facing reconstructive surgery after a man bashed him in the face with a baseball bat on Monday night.