Teens on rampage through Yeppoon



A VIOLENT teenage rampage through Yeppoon's central business district erupted after an under-age disco on Tuesday night.

About 11pm a fight began along Hill Street between a group of young people from Rockhampton and Yeppoon, some armed with metal pipes and lumps of wood.

Yeppoon police officer-incharge John Hamrey said at least two car loads of teenagers had come from Rockhampton.

"This all happened because it was an argument between two boys over a girl,'' he said.

It is believed a teenage boy was dancing with a girl at the supervised disco at the Coast Nite Club and another boy got upset.

The Morning Bulletin understands the second boy then contacted his friends in Rockhampton.

Senior Sergeant Hamrey said police received information some of the young people had been spotted walking armed with steel bars and pieces of wood.

"They initially started near the club but it moved on and there were a number of skirmishes and assaults around the CBD,'' he said.

"There was a real mob mentality.''

Yeppoon police had to call for reinforcements from Rockhampton to deal with the situation.

At least 10 people were involved in the fight.

Some of the teenagers who were in the central business district when the fight began and their parents were contacted by The Morning Bulletin, but declined to comment.

It is believed one of the boys attacked required stitches to his head.

PCYC Sergeant Greg Jones said there was police supervision of the 102 teenagers who went to the disco at the Coast Nite Club and there had not been any evidence of a fight brewing beforehand.

"There were older kids hanging around in the middle of the street outside the nightclub,'' he said.

"About half the kids had been picked up or left when it erupted and I told them (those fighting) to clear the area.

"There was no indication of trouble in the venue at all.''

Coast Nite Club manager Phillip Ryan said the children at the dance had been appropriately behaved.

Senior Sergeant Hamrey said there was no excuse for violent behaviour after the dance.

"It's a sad indictment that they thought they could solve their problems by hitting each other,'' he said.

"You can't say what they did was due to boredom, it was criminal.

"We do not condone this sort of behaviour and nor should the community. "I also want to get the message across that this disco was not a Yeppoon police run event.

"Yeppoon police were not aware that it would be on and it was not supported by Yeppoon police.''

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

They are expected to appear in Yeppoon Magistrates and Yeppoon Children's Courts next month.



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