Australian tattoo artist stranded in NZ after brutal assault

By Sam Hurley

McGowan says he was randomly attacked at the tattoo studio he worked at last month. Photo / Supplied
McGowan says he was randomly attacked at the tattoo studio he worked at last month. Photo / Supplied

An Australian tattoo artist is stranded in New Zealand and requires several metal plates on his skull after being brutally assaulted at his workplace in downtown Auckland.

Rossi McGowan, 29, was attacked at the Everlast Tattoo studio in central Auckland on December 30, leaving him with severe head injuries.

McGowan, originally from Western Australia, told the Herald the unexpected assault began about 11pm.

He said he was thrown down stairs and bashed about the face.

"The bloke is the size of a door," McGowan, who had been working in Auckland for nearly two months, said of his attacker.

The Australian tattoo artist will have several metal plates surgically inserted onto his skull. Photo / Supplied
The Australian tattoo artist will have several metal plates surgically inserted onto his skull. Photo / Supplied

He said the incident left him with a broken eye socket, among other injuries, which requires mesh titanium plates to be surgically inserted on Thursday morning.

"All I want to do is go home, but the surgeon said I can't get on a plane because my eye will pop out of my head."

He said he was restricted from flying back to Australia for at least another five to six weeks.

McGowan, who travels the world working as a tattoo artist and chef, said he wouldn't be returning to New Zealand.

"What a sh*t way to treat a visitor, a tourist. I won't be coming back, and that's not nice because I've met a lot of nice people here."

Due to his injuries, the professional artist of 12 years said he was unable to continue working because of the pain around his right eye and had quickly run out of money.

"I'm stranded here by myself, none of my family live here, and I can't work because my face is ruined.

"They've told me to just take it easy, but I hate doing that ... I'm taking painkillers three times a day but that makes you feel like you're on heroin or something."

Rossi McGowan is stranded in New Zealand after being attacked last month. Photo / Supplied
Rossi McGowan is stranded in New Zealand after being attacked last month. Photo / Supplied

McGowan also said during the assault his tattooing and chef's equipment was stolen, which he is yet to recover.

"I've worked in Finland, Portugal, Amsterdam, Melbourne and this is literally the worst thing that's ever happened to me.

"I just hope someone can help, I hope ACC can help pay for this."

Police told the Herald a 40-year-old Massey man has been charged with injuring with intent to injure and possession of methamphetamine and will appear in court later this month.

- NZ Herald

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