Sam Boyer

Sam Boyer is a police reporter for the NZ Herald.

Cyclist king-hit over T-shirt

Unprovoked attack in Takapuna leaves sportsman with broken cheek and eye socket.

British professional cyclist Matt Cronshaw. Photo / Dean Purcell
British professional cyclist Matt Cronshaw. Photo / Dean Purcell

A British professional cyclist in New Zealand for a series of races had his cheek and eye socket broken by a "king-hit" during an unprovoked late-night assault.

Just hours after competing in the New Zealand Criterium Championships a fortnight ago in Takapuna, 24-year-old Matt Cronshaw was knocked out by a stranger who took exception to his T-shirt.

North Shore police are investigating the incident, which occurred about 1am on Saturday, November 16. Mr Cronshaw was confronted outside the Hurstmere Rd Mac's Brew Bar in Takapuna by three men - one of whom attacked him.

Mr Cronshaw who days earlier - had won one of the stages of the Tour of Southland - can't remember the incident, or anything from about two hours earlier. His friends have helped him fill in the blanks.

North Shore police released CCTV pictures of the two men they believe may have been involved in the serious assault  on Matt Cronshaw over the T-shirt he was wearing.
North Shore police released CCTV pictures of the two men they believe may have been involved in the serious assault on Matt Cronshaw over the T-shirt he was wearing.

"I was wearing a T-shirt that's multi-coloured and it's got cats on it. I kind of wear it because it's a bit funny, it's a talking point. They called me a faggot or something. I asked him what his problem was and asked why he didn't like cats.

"My mate said one of the guys just swung a big king-hit. He said it sounded like movie sound effects, like two planks of wood smacking together."

He was unconscious before he hit the ground, his friends told him, and he didn't come around for about three minutes.

The punch fractured his cheekbone and eye socket in three places.

The incident happened just weeks after Auckland student Tarun Asthana, 25, died as a result of a similar one-hit attack from 27-year-old naval rating Grenville David McFarland.

The similarities were frightening, Mr Cronshaw said.

"It's one of those things that does scare me about going out. You can just bump into the wrong person and that could be it. If it's someone looking for a fight, then you don't have any control of the situation."

Police have released photos of the men they believe were involved in the incident.

"This was an unprovoked attack that had very serious consequences for this young man. The victim had come to New Zealand to take part in a sporting event," Constable Rob Thow said.

Anyone with information should call Mr Thow on (09) 353 0583 or call the Crimestoppers line anonymously on 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 26 Dec 2014 13:25:11 Processing Time: 487ms