Metal Recovery Industries’ manager Michael Hallett tells of the attack.
Metal Recovery Industries’ manager Michael Hallett tells of the attack. Chris Ison

Scrapyard staff overpower attacker

BAREFOOT, bare-chested and brandishing a two-pronged kitchen knife, an attacker who assaulted seven workers at a Gracemere scrapyard yesterday morning was eventually overpowered.

The disturbed man, who was screaming obscenities as he lashed out at the workers, punched, kicked and bit his victims as they struggled to disarm him.

Michael Hallettt, manager of Metal Recovery Industries and one of the men who came under attack, said he was punched two or three times as he tried to avoid the blade.

"When someone is rushing at you with a knife aimed at your face, you don't know what to do. Like the others, I defended myself as best I could."

He said the colleagues pinned their attacker to the ground and forced the knife from his hand, but when he told them he had a tumour they released him.

"Then he started again with the violence. You couldn't take your eyes off him."

The workers spent most of yesterday either in hospital having their wounds treated, or at the police station giving statements about the scary incident.

"We had planned to have a barbecue to celebrate Australia Day, but he's ruined that. It's been a crazy day," he said.

The workers said they had seen the man, who is thought to be in his 30s, on a number of occasions.

But he had never been violent before.

Without warning he came on to the premises on the Old Capricorn Highway about 6.30am, just as the men were getting ready to start work.

Police in Rockhampton last night charged a man, 33, with nine charges, all but one being assault-related.

The man is expected to appear in court today.



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