Southern Victorian pubs have seen a rash of anti-social behaviour in recent days, involving weapons and a brutal gang attack.
In the early hours of Saturday (5 November) security ejected a “gang” that was causing trouble plus three other men from the Bay Hotel in Mornington.
The gang, numbering around ten and described as of islander appearance, chased the other three men and brutally beat them. One man knocked unconscious regained consciousness and threw himself over one of his friends, who was being kicked in the head, in an attempt to stop the assault.
The kicked man appeared to stop breathing, at which point the offenders fled. He was taken to hospital suffering a broken eye socket, nose and cheekbone, and half of one ear had been ripped off. The 24-year-old builder is expecting his first child to his partner in February. He remembers little of the incident.
Police are examining CCTV from shops in the area of the attack, and appealing for witnesses.
“The assault was really nasty, vicious and unprovoked,” said detective Senior-Constable Paul Smith. “They were extremely lucky to have not suffered more serious injuries.”
On Saturday night, a former Woods Point resident patronised the Woods Point Hotel, where he got into an altercation with an elderly gentleman, who was subsequently pushed over. When another patron stepped in to prevent escalation, the man fled.
The older man was taken to hospital by ambulance, but around 20 minutes later his assailant returned to the pub with whatever was his grievance plus a tomahawk. Management were alerted and locked down the pub and called the police, who arrived around 9:30 to find the man had disappeared again.
He returned again shortly after and used the tomahawk to smash three front windows. Police have not yet reported apprehending the man, but another patron at the pub on the night said no-one was too concerned at the time, and he saw the guy in town the next day.
“[Going] by everyone else in the pub and people that were locals and know the chap, there were more than enough people to do what was needed if he did come inside,” Brian (unnamed) told 3AW.
The Woods Point Hotel is currently on the market, and its owner declined to comment.
Newcomb’s Peninsula Hotel hosted a four-hour siege on Monday, reportedly resulting from a member of staff spotting a firearm in the room of guests that had overstayed their booking. Seeing the gun, the staff member immediately called the police and a stand-off ensued.
Just after noon (7 November) heavily-armed police cordoned off the area and put a nearby childcare centre into lockdown as a precaution. A man and woman surrendered outside their room about 4:30pm.
Sergeant Mick Ryan said the pair appeared to be drug-affected when arrested.
The Peninsula Hotel has been on high alert following other armed robberies this year, including a man pulling a gun on staff in February.