Too scared to work

Teenagers run wild

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - RYAN TENNISON AND LAURA McFADZEAN

TRADERS in St Al­bans are “work­ing in fear” af­ter vi­o­lent teens tar­geted them in a se­ries of at­tacks.

Busi­nesses own­ers along the pop­u­lar Al­frieda St shop­ping strip say they’re at break­ing point, and staff are too scared to come to work.

It fol­lows a spate of vi­o­lent events in­clud­ing a brawl be­tween shop work­ers and youths of African ap­pear­ance out­side a Viet­namese res­tau­rants just days ago.

Western Hair­dress­ing Sup­plies owner Neil Miglior­isi told the Sun­day Her­ald Sun he would fight back if the teens descended on the shop­ping strip again.

“When they come in and start at­tack­ing staff and cus­tomers, you have to fight back,” Mr Miglior­isi said. “I’ll have no wor­ries giv­ing them some of their own medicine if they come back here again.”

On Christ­mas Eve, a 46year-old man ended up in hos­pi­tal with cuts to his face af­ter a fight out­side Song Huong restau­rant.

Man­ager Linh Vu said: “We’re scared right now.

“They come with weapons, look­ing to steal and hurt peo­ple. I think they’ll be back soon and I don’t know what we can do if they do.”

A day ear­lier 20 bat-wield­ing thugs threw ta­bles and chairs at pa­trons out­side B&D Kitchen.

“They at­tacked our vis­i­tors with the cups, chairs and ta­bles out­side our store,” Binh Nguyen, who runs the restau­rant with wife Diem Chau Le, said.

The youths had been a prob­lem for nearly two months and there had been sev­eral in­ci­dents along the busy strip in re­cent weeks, he said.

Nu­mer­ous busi­ness own­ers said they were wor­ried more vi­o­lence was ahead — and the St Al­bans Lu­nar Fes­ti­val on Jan­uary 6 was a po­ten­tial tar­get. “Ev­ery­one knows they will be back but this time we’ll be ready,” one owner said.

“We don’t want vi­o­lence but we don’t have a choice.”

Po­lice have made sev­eral ar­rests over the De­cem­ber 23 and 24 at­tacks.

It’s un­der­stood po­lice iden­ti­fied sev­eral youths in­volved in the Christ­mas Eve clash as mem­bers of the emerg­ing youth gang BDK.

Pic­tures: NICKI CON­NOLLY

Neil Miglior­isi, and (in­set) Binh Nguyen and Diem Chau Le.

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