McDonald's brawl: Dunedin mother has fears for safety of daughter

By Timothy Brown

A girl, left, sustained minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Dunedin Hospital. Photo / Gregor Richardson
A girl, left, sustained minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Dunedin Hospital. Photo / Gregor Richardson

A Dunedin mother fears for her daughter's safety after she was knocked unconscious by the same teenager in two assaults in as many months.

The woman said her 13-year-old daughter was knocked out by a ''coward's punch'' after being attacked by another 13-year-old in McDonald's restaurant in George St on Tuesday.

The assailant punched her daughter from behind, causing her to hit her head on the counter and then continued attacking her with strikes to the head.

Her daughter was also assaulted by the same girl about six weeks ago outside the Dunedin Public Library, the woman, who only wished to be identified as Kylie, said.

A police spokeswoman said police were aware of both incidents.

''A 13-year-old girl was spoken to by police following the incident [in McDonald's] and the matter has been referred to youth aid,'' she said.

The girl could not be charged because of her age and the ''offence doesn't meet the criteria for a child arrest'', she said.

''Action was taken following the last incident and action is being taken again,'' she said.

Kylie said the situation had left her bemused.

''Does my daughter have to end up dead before someone does something about it?'' she said.

She understood officers' hands were tied but ''laws need to change''.

''What is going on,'' she said.

''Why can't a 13-year-old causing this amount of damage be dealt with properly?''

Police witnessed CCTV footage from the first attack outside the library and also showed it to Kylie.

''They said themselves it's the most brutal attack they have seen from girls in that bracket of age,'' she said.

''It was brutal.''

Her daughter was rendered unconscious and repeatedly kicked while on the ground by the 13-year-old dealt with in relation to the latest incident and a 14-year-old girl who it is understood was referred to a youth justice residence.

Cellphone camera footage of the 13-year-old being taken into custody after Tuesday's internet was circulating on social media yesterday.

In it, the girl could be seen kicking and swearing at a police officer, kicking a patrol car and resisting the officer to be point she had to be pressed face first to the pavement while she was handcuffed.

Kylie said the incidents had spiralled out of verbal insults traded between the girls.

''My daughter is far from a saint. She's a typical teenager, but for banter to escalate to this?''

The 13-year-old had continually threatened her daughter and her family, and had been involved in other violent
altercations in Dunedin, she said.

''This isn't just my daughter,'' she said.

''It's the same group of girls doing this every weekend.

''The violence to me isn't justified.

''I don't know what to do.

''I have been everywhere. I have been to everybody.

''How do we fix this?

''How do we make it stop?''

- Otago Daily Times

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