Vicious attack in Korumburra


Vicious attack in Korumburra

THE Korumburra community has been shaken by two violent attacks on three volunteers of the South Gippsland Tourist Railway on Saturday night.

Richard Davies of Korumburra is fighting for his life in hospital after being bashed with a baseball bat. Yesterday afternoon (Monday), he was not well enough for surgery, suffering two fractures to one arm, suspected broken ribs, bleeding on the brain and a fractured skull.

The Star believed he remained in Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne as of yesterday (Monday).

His daughter’s boyfriend, Gareth Sheriff, suffered a broken jaw.

In a separate attack earlier Saturday evening, tourist railway vice president Shane Blitz was kicked numerous times, including to the head. He suffered lacerations on his head, a cut on the ear and soreness.

Two young Korumburra men, aged 16 and 19, faced remand hearings yesterday, at the Melbourne Children’s Court and Latrobe Valley Magistrate’s Court respectively.

The 16 year old was remanded in custody for the next three weeks. No bail application was made. He will face court at a later date.

The 19 year old, Jacob Quine, was also remanded in custody, with no bail application made. He will return to the Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court this Friday, March 6.

Both offenders were charged with aggravated burglary, causing serious injury and numerous other charges.

Police said Mr Quine was already on bail for allegedly assaulting railways volunteers in the past week and a condition of bail was that he not visit the railway station.

Leading Senior Constable Steve Van Hamond of Korumburra Police said the whole community was affected by the traumatic attacks.

“Korumburra does not expect that sort of thing to happen and it’s made people frightened,” he said.

“I’ve had a lady who lives nearby want to know if she’s safe in her home and it’s sad when it comes to that.”

Leading S/C Van Hamond said the attacks were unprovoked and the victims were “defenceless men”.

“One victim has moved out of town because he’s concerned they will get bail,” he said.

The drama began at 9.30pm Saturday when the offenders attended the railway station, and threw a pot plant through the window and smashed several other windows.

Mr Blitz approached them and was assaulted. A founding member of the railway and a volunteer of 30 years, he was shocked by the ordeal.

“I never thought I would be bashed up at the location where the volunteers enjoy spending time. I’m so shaken up by it,” he said.

Mr Davies’ daughter Sarah took Mr Blitz took to Korumburra Hospital for treatment. They returned to the station to find Messrs Davies and Sheriff had been attacked.

“It was violent, it was brutal,” Mr Blitz said.

“A lot of people are nervous about their safety in this town because of what has happened.”

Police received a phone call around 11.40pm saying the offenders had returned to the railway station and set upon another Mr Davies with baseball bats.

Mr Davies, aged in his mid 40s, lived at the railway station and was attacked in his bedroom.

He was knocked unconscious and later transported to Monash Medical Centre. If he survives, police are concerned Mr Davies may suffer a brain injury.

Mr Sheriff was attacked after coming to Mr Davies’ aid.

“It was just a crazed, violent unprovoked assault and sustained,” Leading S/C Van Hamond said.

The youths were arrested at a Korumburra home at 3am on Sunday by Korumburra Police and detectives from the Bass Coast Criminal Investigation Unit.

They were taken to the Wonthaggi Police Station and processed.

Tourist railway business manager David Rasmus said the assault on Mr Blitz was recorded on a security camera system.

Railway volunteers believe the offenders returned to the station to destroy hard drive records of the first assault, as they pulled the security system apart and set it on fire in the fireplace.

Some footage was saved and has been given to police.

Mr Blitz, who lives in Melbourne and was staying at the station overnight, thanked the community of South Gippsland for its support in the wake of the attack.

“We need to stand up and say we are not going to let them stop us from doing what we love doing,” he said.

Police are unsure if the offenders were affected by any substance on the night.

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Posted by on Mar 3 2015. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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