Rock-attack terror unrelenting

By Jonathan Dine

5 comments
Violet Wheeler, 75, from Havelock North has been getting rocks and stones thrown onto her roof. 21st March 2016. Hawke's Bay Today Photograph by Paul Taylor
Violet Wheeler, 75, from Havelock North has been getting rocks and stones thrown onto her roof. 21st March 2016. Hawke's Bay Today Photograph by Paul Taylor

A 75-year-old Havelock North woman is still living in fear as someone continues to hurl rocks at her house in the middle of the night.

Violet Wheeler's house has been subject to random rock attacks during the past seven weeks. Some of the rocks are bigger than an ostrich egg.

The thuds in the night haven't stopped despite police investigations and Hawke's Bay Today publicising the woman's plight last week.

Ms Wheeler's house was again attacked with a barrage of rocks on Sunday night in two separate incidents, at 7.25pm and 9.10pm.

Police responded to the initial incident with a tracker dog but came up empty handed. About an hour later, there was a second attack.

Ms Wheeler believes that suggests the perpetrators are watching the house from a vantage point.

"They know when the police are here and when they have gone," she said.

"It was like they were saying to me 'we're still here'."

Police spoke publicly about the attacks last week, saying that Ms Wheeler's house had had more than 30 rocks thrown at it. Her property backs onto Havelock North High School.

Her neighbours have also been subject to the random rock attacks.

There has been extensive damage to the roof and one of the larger rocks smashed through her front window.

"If the blinds weren't closed it would have got me in the head."

She said the perpetrators might not realise just how dangerous their actions were.

"I'm not sure if they are just trying to be smart or what."

Ms Wheeler worked at the village New World as a cashier for 35 years, retiring about a year ago. She was well-known in the community and said young people in the area treated her respectfully. "I've never had an enemy in my life."

She said the attacks made her sick to her stomach.

"I feel very uneasy - I don't want to go on drugs or anything, I just want them caught so I can see their faces and ask them why."

Inspector Karl Bauerfeind of Hawke's Bay Police said the people responsible were scaring the living daylights out of the woman.

Grey Power Hastings and Districts Association president Marie Dunningham said the attacks were dangerous and cruel.

"We are only as safe as the community we live in."

Mrs Dunningham labelled the attackers cowards.

She said it was sad that older people were targets of bullying.

-Anyone with information about the attacks is asked to phone Constable Deb Potter at Hawke's Bay Police, on 06 8310700.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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