Ed­u­ca­tion needed

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By KA­T­RINA LINTONBON

If you were be­ing at­tacked by a group of youths and one of them de­cided to smash you in the side of the head with a large rock, you would be pretty an­gry, right?

Not in Philip Rei­necke’s case. Mr Rei­necke wants to see pos­i­tive change from a sit­u­a­tion that could have left him se­ri­ously in­jured.

His story is one peo­ple would not like to imag­ine hap­pens in a place like Mata­mata.

On Novem­ber 24, Mr Rei­necke was com­ing home from shop­ping when he saw a group of teenagers kick­ing in his neigh­bour’s garage door.

‘‘I stopped and said, ‘Hey, what are you do­ing?’,’’ he said.

‘‘That was when their at­ten­tion im­me­di­ately shifted to me. Next thing I knew one of them punched me in the eye.

‘‘They were try­ing to pull me out of my ve­hi­cle.’’

The group suc­ceeded in get­ting Mr Rei­necke out of his car.

‘‘I was stand­ing there and had about seven of them com­ing at me.they were go­ing crazy.’’

Un­be­known to Mr Rei­necke, his wife and neigh­bours saw what was tak­ing place and called the po­lice.

An­other neigh­bour came to his aid. ‘‘ I re­ally don’t know what would have hap­pened if my neigh­bour hadn’t come to help me. I think the out­come would have been dif­fer­ent. They would have given me a good hid­ing that’s all I know.’’

One of the boys seemed par­tic­u­larly ag­i­tated and went into the gar­den and grabbed a large rock. He then smashed the side of Mr Rei­necke’s head with it, which re­sulted in him be­ing knocked out and hit­ting his head on the ground. Not long af­ter Mata­mata po­lice ar­rived at the scene.

They ar­rested all those in­volved. Now a 14 year old is fac­ing a charge of as­sault with in­tent to cause griev­ous bod­ily harm.

The worst thing Mr Rei­necke said was hav­ing his chil­dren ex­posed to such vi­o­lent be­hav­iour.

‘‘That’s what hurts me the most. The fact that my chil­dren had to watch this un­fold,’’ he said.

In­stead of feel­ing re­sent­ful about what hap­pened, Mr Rei­necke has a pos­i­tive out­look and said he felt sorry for the youths in­volved in at­tack­ing him.

He has since spo­ken to the mother of one of the boys and said he does want to see those re­spon­si­ble for his at­tack held ac­count­able for what they did.

‘‘All these kids need is love. The prob­lem is the environment they’re liv­ing in with all al­co­hol and drugs.’’

Fast for­ward to the fu­ture and there is only one thing that Mr Rei­necke re­ally wants to see.

‘‘I want this young man to get an ed­u­ca­tion. I want to see him in a class­room learn­ing. Ed­u­ca­tion opens so many doors.’’

No grudges: Philip Rei­necke says there is a lot to be learned by what hap­pened on Novem­ber 24 when he was at­tacked by a group of youths. IN­SERT: Fol­low­ing the at­tack.

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