By Rowan Forster
A gang of youths has wreaked havoc on Kooweerup’s streets during an alcohol-fuelled rampage on Saturday night, forcing police to disperse crowds with capsicum spray.
The Gazette understands an 18th birthday party at the Masonic Hall spiralled out of control when gate crashers descended on the tightknit town.
Police confirmed that a number of calls were received, reporting excessive noise from the Rossiter Road premises, when officers intervened.
Teenagers then allegedly spilled onto the streets – hurling bottles at properties – forcing police to shut down the gathering.
Wilma Lucas, who operates antiques store Divine Finds on Rossiter Road, discovered her shopfront window had been shattered by the hooligans on Sunday morning.
She told the Gazette the repair exceeded $1600.
“It’s very sad – a few things also got damaged and broken but what can you do,” she said.
“I had to clean up the mess and my husband even came and put on gloves to help me out, and then we had to board it up.
“Youth and alcohol, it’s not a good combination.
It has also been revealed that two young men were viciously assaulted in a nearby park.
One man was believed to have been bashed and stomped as he collapsed to the ground.
Victoria Police are investigating if the incidents are linked.
However, the victims are reportedly being uncooperative with detectives.
According to witnesses, many of the perpetrators were not local.
They are described as being of African appearance.
David Bull, from the Masonic Hall, believes an 18th and a 19th birthday were taking place at the venue, but crowd numbers exceeded those expected.
He said the hosts paid to have the building cleaned afterwards.
Only a 20-year-old Pakenham man was been arrested, expected to be charged with being drunk in a public place and discharging a missile.
Pakenham police were forced to respond, despite being 20 minutes from the scene, because Kooweerup Police Station was closed.