Claims by a Kiwi beauty blogger that she was attacked by one of her YouTube viewers in a bar in Napier are disturbing, says the city's MP.
Blogger Sally Jo Hickey, the daughter of former TVNZ weatherman Jim Hickey, said in a video posted to YouTube that she was verbally abused and had a glass smashed on her head by a "viewer" in the Thirsty Whale bar during her first visit to Napier.
Hickey, who has more than 100,000 subscribers to her channel, was on the bar's deck, mid-photo with a fan, when a woman screamed her name. "They sounded really aggro, then next minute, whack!" she said in her post. "I looked down and there was glass all over me. I'm actually, like, panicking reliving it."
She said she had glass in her hair and in her shoe, and the security guards' attention was elsewhere. The woman, she said, screamed: "Who do you think you are coming in here?"
Napier Labour MP Stuart Nash said if the facts were right it warranted charges.
Hickey said she was worried about addressing the incident because it might encourage more attacks. She said she had experienced "a bad run" after having her hair pulled and being followed while out with fellow beauty blogger Shannon Harris.
Mr Nash said there were "some really bad people out there". "I would like to think that this is an isolated incident."
However, he said there were always people with tall poppy syndrome who were jealous of other people's success. He said it gave "Napier a really bad name".
In the post, Hickey called the Thirsty Whale "rough".
When contacted for comment the owner, Chris Sullivan, said he was told by police incidents were "well down in Napier bars".
He said he had no knowledge of the incident Hickey spoke of and if it did [happen] surely [the] complainant would have either advised us or rung police - neither happened.
"But a great way to get attention - and three months later, come on. Attention seeking."
Hickey said she was "shell-shocked" and tweeted she wasn't going clubbing any more.
"I was very scared because I'm not a violent person and it really rattled me."
Senior Sergeant Dan Foley said Napier was not a hot spot for violent activity and similar behaviour arose in most areas where there were alcohol and bars. He said the bars were run well and security guards worked with alcohol-harm officers.
Mr Foley said there had not been an increase or decrease in incidents. Both he and Mr Nash said the area was still safe and people should not feel threatened.
Mr Foley's main message was for people to stay together, look after belongings and keep each other safe.
Napier mayor Bill Dalton said police were doing the best they could with their resources.
"It's not specifically on our agenda but any rise in violence is something we will be very conscious of and something we would take action against, as much as we can as a local authority," Mr Dalton said.
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