Islander blames race slur



A WILD brawl in the streets of Yeppoon on Tuesday night was racially motivated and not over a girl, according to a teenager caught up in the violence.

A North Rockhampton youth yesterday contacted The Morning Bulletin to tell his side of what happened after the under-age disco at Yeppoon's Coast Nite Club.

A 16-year-old islander said trouble flared after racial comments were made to him and an Aboriginal friend.

They were part of a group that had travelled to Yeppoon. However, Yeppoon police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant John Hamrey yesterday discounted the racist claim.

Senior Sergeant Hamrey said police interviewed everyone involved afterwards and the evidence showed the trouble started between two boys over a girl.

The teenager, who refused to be identified, said his group was the target of racial torment three or four times. "They said they didn't want black fellows in their town .?.?. it was a white town,'' the youth said.

Friends from Rockhampton joined the group later in the evening. "All up there was about 10 of us,'' he said. The two groups then clashed, some armed with metal pipes and lumps of wood.

"People got busted open and it was pretty bad,'' he said.

"The fighting went on for about five minutes before it got broken up.''

Meanwhile, the owner of the night club where the under-age disco was held yesterday stressed there was no trouble on his premises.

"There was zero trouble,'' Coast Nite Club owner Phillip Ryan said.

Five teenagers from Rockhampton aged between 15 and 19 have been charged with offences after the incident ranging from public nuisance to assault occasioning bodily harm.



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