A GANG of gatecrashers assaulted four people and smashed up nine cars at a social function in Balga last night.
Police say the thugs tried to force their way into the Balga Soccer and Social Club function on Princess Road about 8pm.
About 100 people, consisting of club members and their families, were at the
end of year presentation night celebrating a successful year for the
soccer club when as many as 20 uninvited male gatecrashers tried to
force their way into the venue.
Dozens of children and women at the event had been left traumatised, club officials said this morning.
It’s also been revealed one of those injured in the incident was a club
member aged in his 60s who had a bottle thrown at his head by one of the
A fire hose was also used to fend off the gang of unruly thugs aged between 15 and 25.
The gatecrashers of African descent arrived at the club and demanded entry but were refused.
Some tried to force their way into the clubrooms where the function was
being held but they were prevented by brave club members who barricaded
themselves inside the venue using a large pin up board, which they held
up against the main doors.
Three club members however were assaulted during this time as a result of bottles being thrown inside the venue by the gatecrashers.
The gatecrashers then smashed up as many as nine vehicles parked outside the venue, smashing windows and kicking in body panels.
Eight police vehicles arrived on the scene but the gatecrashers fled into surrounding parklands and streets.
After extensive patrols and with no further incidents the officers left the scene.
But 15 minutes later, and as the event was winding down, several of the gatecrashers returned armed with sticks and bottles.
After a brief confrontation with the gatecrashers once more, during which
another club member was king hit, the event goers retreated back into
the building for their own safety.
Police rushed back to the scene and dispersed the group of gatecrashers as club members emerged from the building to go home.
Today club officials gathered at the scene to reflect on what happened.
Club president Ken Shorto said the entire incident had been very scary for everyone.
He said many of the gatecrashers had been drinking on the soccer club’s
oval that evening, a reoccurring problem on the weekends, he said.
“We had seats outside for the smokers and they just used that as a battering ram against the door,” Mr Shorto said.
“They started hurling bottles at the wall…they did not stop for 20 minutes.
“We were just lucky there were enough guys here to have the sense to stop them from getting in…we had women shaking and crying.”
Mr Shorto said the club had had a great year on the field with the division three amateur side winning the league this year.
Mr Shorto now fears many club members will never come back as a result of what happened last night.
“This is going to put us back a long way, we are going to lose supporters, we
are going to lose players because they don’t want to come back to this
area,” he said.
“I think the toleration of the drinking in our park is the problem…they got rid of them a year ago but they’ve come back again.
“The police know about it, the rangers know about it.”
No charges or arrests were made during the incident last night but police
are seeking to identify the main offenders so they can be charged.
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