’Gang assault’ in Pakenham

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By Mitchell Clarke

The father of a young man bashed in Pakenham has also been allegedly attacked by a group of men while at work.

Four men attempted to enter the Heritage Springs Shopping Centre at 11.30pm on Tuesday 14 January, only to be turned away by two security guards.

One of the security guards was Wayne Brown, the father of Lachlan, who was set upon by a group of men outside Pakenham station earlier this year.

Mr Brown told the Gazette he received a death threat from one of the men and was kicked in the back while his colleague was punched in the chest.

Thankfully, neither of the men sustained major injuries.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said it was unclear as to why the men were turned away by security but the Gazette understands it was in relation to a series of alleged incidents prior to Tuesday night.

Mr Brown said the assault was “completely brazen” and escalated without warning.

“One of the men said to me ‘I’m going to kill you’, and called me a racist,” he said.

“These kids blatantly said to my face, ‘we’re not scared about the police’.”

He said similar incidents involving groups of young men had become a huge problem within the Cardinia shire.

“If you’re in Pakenham, you’re in with a chance of being targeted, this isn’t a nice area,” he told the Gazette.

“Incidents like this aren’t occurring everywhere but they’re definitely concentrated around Pakenham and Cardinia.

“These are kids and teenagers and they’re just destroying their own community.”

La Trobe MP Jason Wood has weighed in on the “gang assault“ and said more police resources were required at Pakenham.

“It’s just sad that security guards at a shopping centre are getting attacked for doing their job,” Mr Wood said.

“It’s happening far too often and we’ve been seeing it a lot, especially in the south eastern suburbs.

“From what I’m hearing, the police are just absolutely overwhelmed, across the board. They just seem to be responding to similar incidents.

“Whatever is happening now is not working.”

Mr Brown said a number of Coles employees and customers witnessed the incident.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Pakenham police station.

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