Street fight fear on North Coast

TERRIFIED Casino residents say they are ‘living in fear’ after a weekend of violence on the Northern Rivers.

There were four separate brawls on Saturday and Sunday – two at Casino, one at Lismore and another at Coraki.

Victims included a woman who was thrown into a shopfront window and a man who was hit with a fence paling which had a nail protruding from it.

He was one of three men attacked on North Street, Casino, at 12.30am on Saturday.

A wife of one of the victims screamed for help as they were bashed by a group of men.

She said it was a frightening experience.

“About four blokes approached us and just started laying into the guys,” said the woman, who was too scared to reveal her name.

“They kept punching until they fell face-first onto the road and then they kicked them in the face.

“I thought one of the guys was dead – there was so much blood.

“I just ran down the street screaming. These men were like animals.

“In the 12 years that we’ve lived in Casino, nothing like this has ever happened to us before.

“It’s not safe anymore.

“But we shouldn’t have to live in fear.”

Casino officer-in-charge, Inspector Gary Cowan, confirmed police were called to the brawl and that one victim suffered a deep laceration to his head. A second man had a bleeding nose, lip and forehead.

The two victims were aged 49 and 51.

Insp Cowan said police were also called to a second brawl in Walker Street, Casino, just two hours later, involving people in their 20s and 30s.

“A female was pushed into a glass window of a shop and she received a severe laceration to her right wrist,” he said.

Police are making inquiries into both of the incidents at Casino.

Senior Sergeant Brett Marshall said the fight at Coraki happened in Martin Street mid-morning on Sunday.

“It involved about 15 people aged between about 18 and 35,” he said.

“The brawl resulted from an incident ... the night before; a disagreement.

“I hope to charge these people with affray.

“I won’t tolerate people fighting in the street. I will not put up with it.”

A Coraki woman said bottles were thrown at her car and house when a fight spilled into her yard on Saturday night.

“There were about 20 people fighting ... they had sticks and iron bars as weapons,” she said.

“They were also driving around drunk – they could have killed someone. It was an all-in brawl, almost a riot.”

Richmond Local Area Command crime manager, Detective Inspector Greg Moore, said police attended a fight at the corner of Keen and Woodlark streets in Lismore at 3.30am on Sunday.

“It involved between 10 and 15 males,” he said.

“One male was treated for suspected concussion.”

Det Insp Moore reminded people that street brawling could incur heavy penalties.

“People could be charged with affray or offensive conduct which, if convicted, can lead to lengthy custodial sentences,” he said.

A 23-year-old man was arrested and issued with an infringement for failing to comply with a move-on direction and a 21-year-old woman was arrested and charged with offensive behaviour.

Police are reviewing CCTV footage and calling for witnesses.

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