Shocking skate park fight video triggers mass outcry
PARENTS, civic leaders and senior police have been left horrified by "disturbing" footage of a brutal and potentially "premeditated" fight, including a baseball bat and a teenager being king hit, at the Redlynch skate park in Cairns.
The brutal video began circulating on Wednesday afternoon and depicts eight males, believed to be in their mid to late teens, involved in an expletive-ridden argument which descends into violence.
One of the males holding the bat is punched in the face, causing him to fall backwards onto the ground, with his head narrowly missing a skate rail.
The incident comes just days after the break-in and vandalism of the nearby Redlynch State College, which a 19-year-old man and several younger teens have been charged over.
There is no suggestion the two incidents are linked.
There has been no complaint made to police and therefore no charges laid, but Far North police Detective Acting Inspector Kevin Goan, who viewed the footage, described it as "unacceptable".
"The fact that one of these males is walking around with a baseball bat gives rise to the assumption this was premeditated," he said.
"And that blow to one of the parties on scene - the outcome could have been catastrophic in terms of one-punch legislation."
"We have CCTV in the area to monitor the behaviour, but to turn up and film exclusively further depicts a degree of premeditation."
Division 6 councillor Kristy Vallely said she had received only a handful of complaints about the Kamerunga Road venue during her first year in office, but she had been left horrified after being sent the footage.
"We want these places to be where kids go and have fun," she said.
"It's just disturbing. As a parent, not just a councillor, my kids go there and I know this will put off others from going there."
"And why would you have a baseball bat down there?
"I don't think it's a bad place ... but it's a bit scary to see."
She said council would assist police in providing CCTV if it was ever required.
Goldsborough father-of-two Chris Costa said he regularly took his sons Caleb, 5, and Tyler, 7, to the park and had never had any issues.
"(Seeing the video) blew my socks off a bit," he said. "But unfortunately you get these lowest common denominators and hopefully they're blow-ins who have blown through and don't wreck it for the majority of others."
Brinsmead man Liam Clark, 19, said he had been going to the park daily for the past few weeks and never had any trouble.
"Everything is normally pretty good," he said.
"The only bad stuff you might see is a couple of boys smoking a bong.
"That's completely out of character for that place."
However, Redlynch-based boxing coach Ken Dalton said the video was indicative of an uptick of violence he had been made aware of in the suburb recently.
"I'm dealing with kids who've had knives pulled on them, there's drugs, there's a fight every three days," he said.
"I've been here 17-18 years and I haven't seen it so bad. I want all levels of government to step in."
Police online crime mapping showed there were just 68 offences recorded in Redlynch in the past three months, compared to 233 in Manoora and 207 in Edmonton for the same period.
Most of the offences included break-ins and traffic matters.
Redlynch State College vice-captain Camdyn Ware took to a local residents' Facebook group expressing her concern over the fight and the recent vandalism at her school.
"There are not enough words to describe how bitterly disappointed I am with my fellow teens," she wrote.
"It breaks my heart knowing that people in my demographic are causing immense harm and pain to the Redlynch community."
Originally published as Shocking skate park fight video triggers mass outcry