Every now and then you hear about a violent attack in New Zealand. Often the worst thing about them is that they’re completely random.
Back in Liverpool, I had a CB radio scanner and used to listen to the police radio traffic in the middle of the city. It was actually scary how much stuff happened that just didn’t make it to the news.
I thought Christchurch would be different, i.e. any violent attack here would be on the front page of The Press straight away. But recently, my cousin was unlucky enough to find out otherwise.
At about 1am on a Sunday morning, he was out on the town with some friends. He’s an 18 year old clean looking guy and wouldn’t look like a threat to anyone but the ladies (if ya know what I mean). However, as he wandered past Hotel So on Cashel Street, he got jumped by a group or 4 or 5 guys. They dragged him and his friend into the alleyway between Hotel So and the Grand Chancellor hotel (pictured above) and beat them both until they were bruised and bloody, before the hoodie-wearing morons cowardly ran off as other people approached.
My cousin ended up in hospital with some serious damage to his teeth – he’d been knocked to the ground and kicked straight in the mouth, forcing his teeth backwards.
In a moment of genius, one of the “alleged attackers” had dropped his cellphone as he ran. The cellphone had pictures of himself in a mirror, doing lame gang signs and trying to look hard. Amazingly, the police tracked down the owner, asked him if he did it, he said “no” and the police gave him back his phone and reported back that there was nothing they could do.
And what happens when these guys find out they can get away with it? Well, just one month later, my other cousin happened to be heading down that same alley on his bike late on a Thursday evening. Suddenly a group of guys step out of the shadows and start chasing him. He does a quick u-turn and gets away unharmed.
The story didn’t make the news – probably nothing new or interesting about it. But I’m happy to report it here and warn others. One kick in the wrong place and my cousin might not have been so lucky.
So if you’re in town for a few drinks, I’d say keep away from this alley. If those guys want to claim a dirty patch of tarmac as their own, they’re welcome to it.
To those responsible, I’ve got a gang sign for ya:
14/10/9 UPDATE: Last weekend The Press reported that three people have been arrested at this same location for random violent attacks on passer-bys. Let’s hope it’s the same people and these guys are punished for their stupidity.