SHAKEN: Erica Henderson’s car was damaged after she was attacked by a man with a bat in Marcoola.
SHAKEN: Erica Henderson’s car was damaged after she was attacked by a man with a bat in Marcoola. Pete Evans

Mother's account: armed attack at out-of-control party

I KNEW something wasn't right the moment I turned the corner.

What should have been a quiet suburban street was swarming with teenagers who were moving quickly away from the very spot I was heading.

I was arriving in the Marcoola street to pick up my teenage daughter and her friends after a State of Origin get-together.

WE SAY: ATTACK ON PARTY ON MUM WORST NIGHTMARE

I had allowed her to attend because it was school holidays and the gathering was to have parental supervision.

I scanned through the crowd looking for my daughter and her friends.

I spotted one of the kids and a few others who knew me and called out to them.

They ran towards me and frantically scrambled into the car, asking if they could get a ride home and rambling about "stuff going down".

Erica Henderson got the fright of her life when she was attacked in her car by a man with a bat. The damage to the door of Erica's car Photo: Pete Evans / Sunshine Coast Daily
Erica Henderson got the fright of her life when she was attacked in her car by a man with a bat. The damage to the door of Erica's car Photo: Pete Evans / Sunshine Coast Daily Pete Evans

I could see their concern, so I told them to jump in.

Worried for my daughter and her friends, I drove further up the street.

I saw them rushing towards me and stopped the car.

They came to the passenger side and opened the doors.

Then I noticed a dark shape coming out of the shadows towards me and realised it was a man swinging what looked like a big black bat.

Do you believe teenage parties are out of control too often on the Coast?

This poll ended on 31 July 2015.

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Yes, kids have no respect

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No, not all teenage parties turn sour

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Never used to be a problem back in my day

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He was screaming something I couldn't make out because my window was closed.

I screamed frantically at the kids as he approached quickly with the bat raised.

"Get in the car!" I screamed.

They were busy worrying about space in my small car and hadn't noticed him on the opposite side.

I screamed again "just get in!" as he lunged at my door with the bat raised.

As the last door closed - one of the kids scrambling in through the rear hatch - our attacker swung the bat and pulled the back passenger door open.

The girls were screaming and I heard the door slam close, then thuds on the car as the club struck it.

Terrified and with a car full of screaming teenagers, I drove 200 metres around the corner before I was game to pull over.

I didn't want to stop but I needed to check on the kids.

Another carload of bewildered and shaken teenagers was stopped nearby.

A smashed door handle and large dent in my car showed where at least two of the blows had landed.

I knew my car was overloaded but I also knew I needed to get the kids to safety, as it was dark and we had no idea where the man had gone.

It was 11pm by the time I dropped the shaken kids at their homes and my daughter and I had made our way back to ours.

We were badly shaken but finally felt safe in our own home.

I contacted police who advised me to go into the station and make a statement the next morning.

Finally I was able to sit for a few minutes, catch my breath and reflect on how lucky we had been.

I still don't understand why I was attacked or know the identity of our attacker.

I do know that if I hadn't arrived when I did, it might have been my daughter and her friends he hit, rather than my car.

For that bit of luck, I feel very fortunate.

Erica Henderson is the reporter for Coolum and North Shore News.

 


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