Teen may be charged for falsely reporting African 'bashing'


On the steps of Victoria's Parliament House in August, a devastated Frank D'Abaco fought back tears.

He told this reporter that his teenage son Jayden, 19, had been savagely beaten by African youths. The details were disturbing.

He said the group had set upon his boy after stalking him. He said one sliced the Werribee teen's forehead with a shard of glass while others kicked, punched and choked him during a night out on August 24.

"I got like hit twice and that's all I remember I think I got kicked in the ribs of something. I got a fractured nose," Jayden told 9News at the time.

Jayden, who has autism, was left with a fractured eye socket and cuts and bruises but, more significantly, he was left with mental scars from the second attack of its kind in two years, he said.

"So this, on Saturday night, has completely destroyed the boy. No-one will ever know what they've done to him mentally," Mr D'Abaco told news.com.au.

But in a bizarre twist, police who originally told reporters they were looking for "eight young people" of "African appearance" now say Jayden may have fabricated the story.

Almost a month after Jayden returned home telling his family he had been bashed, a Victoria Police spokeswoman says the teen is likely to be charged.

"A 19-year-old man is expected to be charged on summons with submitting a false report," she said.

"Victoria Police has provided appropriate support and referrals to parties involved."

Jayden's mother told the Herald Sun she does not know what to make of the twist in the story.

"I am baffled by the whole thing because clearly he was beaten up," she said. "We still need to get to the bottom of it."

Investigators had been searching for answers to what unfolded after Jayden started walking to the Mynt Lounge nightclub in Werribee about 10.30pm on August 24.

Jayden initially told police he was meeting friends after a football match when the group began following him.

He said he saw the group watching him and, when he began walking faster, they ran towards him.

"He won't leave his room. He hasn't left his room since Sunday. He won't speak. He won't do anything," Mr D'Abaco told news.com.au.

"It's happened to him twice and he's broken."

Jayden was attacked by a group of African youths on a bus in 2017. CCTV cameras captured the incident.

On August 28, Mr D'Abaco sat on the steps of Parliament House from 8am and waited for the chance to speak directly to Premier Daniel Andrews about an issue he said the Victorian leader is ignoring.

"This guy doesn't care," he said, pointing towards Parliament House.

"When I speak, I speak on behalf of my family and all Victorians. This is not about me. This is about all of us. Your son, daughter, anybody.

"Every day of the week, Dan Andrews will tell you the crime rate is down. But the severity of the crime is through the roof and he won't deal with it. Doesn't want to know about it."


Jayden D'Abaco was bashed in 2017 by a group of youths.
Jayden D'Abaco was bashed in 2017 by a group of youths.

He said he was "disgusted" by the way Mr Andrews had put the issue of youth crime on the shelf.

"I'm disgusted. He has shown me no respect. He has shown Victorians no respect."

Mr D'Abaco said Jayden could not understand why he had been attacked twice.

"Jayden just says, 'Why me?' … 'Why me twice?'," Mr D'Abaco told news.com.au.

"He doesn't understand. He's 19 years old, he's autistic. They've destroyed him once, they've destroyed him twice."

Mr Andrews last year committed to tackling youth crime in Victoria and to work closely with the African community in relation to incidents of violence committed by African youths.

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