Police are investigating after a man who was trying to hitch a ride to help his stranded flatmate was brutally attacked by a group of men in Silverdale over the weekend.
On Saturday night between 9.15pm and 9.40pm, 22-year-old Valkerim Miller was at the liquor store and on the way to help his flatmates with car troubles when he was viciously assaulted in the back of a car.
Miller received a phone call from his stranded flatmate Jaydee Maclang asking if he could walk a can of petrol to their car after they ran out of gas.
While at the Silverdale Liquor Centre, Miller asked a group of three men if they would give him a ride up the road to the petrol station.
But his night turned to horror when he climbed into the men's car, was driven 500m up the road and allegedly bashed and robbed.
"After jumping in, they drove 500m before putting him in a headlock, bashed his face in the back of the car, pushed him out and drove off," flatmate Maclang told the Herald.
"He was walking to me and my partner to help us. In the meantime, they stole his cell phone and his wallet with $300 and booted him out the door like a piece of trash.
"It's disgusting, and it's absolutely heartbreaking. This person is trying to help someone and then they bash him. He's only 22."
Miller told the Herald he spent the night in hospital to receive treatment for his injuries.
Miller cannot currently see out of his left eye and received stitches for his injuries.
"My whole left eye is fully swollen, I can't see out of it, and my right eye is swollen.
"I got six stitches in my eye and injuries to my elbow. They put me in a headlock and I only had one arm free and they bashed me in the back of the car.
"I'm really angry but now I'm nervous to go outside. I'm pretty upset, what they've done isn't right. You just want everyone to treat you with respect and kindness, then they go and do that."
A photo of Miller's injuries was posted to social media, showing his badly beaten face, which appeared swollen with a nasty cut up left eye and eye brow.
Miller described the alleged offenders as being aged between 17-20 years old, two were Pakeha, while another was Pasifika.
He said they were wearing dark hoodies and red hats.
Police were reported to be reviewing CCTV footage from the liquor store.
A police spokesperson told the Herald they are currently investigating an aggravated robbery incident.
"Police are investigating an aggravated robbery incident after a man was assaulted in Silverdale on Saturday evening.
"The victim is reported to have asked a group of males in a vehicle for a lift outside a Silverdale liquor store at around 9pm on June 1.
"The male was then assaulted and had his belongings stolen before the offenders fled in a vehicle.
"The victim was taken to North Shore Hospital for treatment for his injuries.
"Police are investigating this incident and are following positive lines of enquiries to identify the offenders involved.
"Anyone with information is urged to contact Orewa Police by phoning 09 426 4555 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."
Miller is currently at home recovering from his injuries.
He has since issued a warning against hitch-hiking, no matter how friendly people appear to be.
"Don't hitch-hike, don't put yourself in a vulnerable position where your safety is in the hands of others.
"It's not worth the risk."