Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Police close in on cowardly attacker

Police have released this graphic photo of an 87-year-old Waikanae man's bloody injuries after he was attacked by a group of teens. Photo / supplied
Police have released this graphic photo of an 87-year-old Waikanae man's bloody injuries after he was attacked by a group of teens. Photo / supplied

Police are hoping to make an arrest today over a cowardly attack that left an elderly Kapiti Coast man with serious injuries.

The 87-year-old confronted a group of teenagers who were jumping in his groomed macrocarpa bushes at the front of his Waikanae Beach property on Saturday night.

He asked them to move along, but one of the youths verbally abused him, saying, "Who's going to make us?''

The teenager then struck him, pushing him off-balance onto the road.

Neighbours said the elderly man was left distressed and bleeding profusely from the head.

Police today released a photo of his injuries, which included several cuts to his face and a fractured cheekbone.

Detective Matt Campbell said police had identified a couple of suspects who they were looking to speak to shortly.

"The response from the public has been outstanding,'' he told APNZ.

"We've just been out conducting an area canvas up in Waikanae, and through that we've been able to identify a couple of potential suspects. So things are going good and we hope to have a result by the end of the day.''

Mr Campbell earlier said the suspect needed to come forward and be held accountable.

"Whether or not he describes it as a simple push does not detract from the fact that an elderly gentleman has suffered serious injuries as a result of a foolish act,'' he said.

"This assault on an elderly resident protecting the sanctity of his home is a cowardly attack on a helpless frail old man.''

Police said the youth wanted in connection with the shove was a European aged about 18. He was wearing a black top, black three quarter length shorts and a black baseball cap.

- APNZ

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