Three teenage girls were attacked by a group of men in Sydney, Australia on Saturday night during the city’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival. Police allege that four men in their 20s assaulted the girls—two aged 16 and one 15—following an argument at a park in Pyrmont, near the Sydney CBD.
Phone video footage of the incident, posted on Instagram, shows the girls being beaten, kicked, stomped on and dragged by the hair. Two of them suffered so-called “one punch” attacks, otherwise known as a “coward punch”—that is, where one person blindsides another with a strike to the head, often knocking them unconscious—and later received treatment for facial injuries and concussion.
WARNING: Readers may find the following footage distressing.
Officers arrested three men—aged 29, 23 and 21—who tried to flee the scene a short time after the incident. The older two men were charged with affray and two counts of common assault, while the younger man was charged with affray and common assault.
Police are now seeking a fourth man who they believe was involved in the attack. The suspect is described as being of Caucasian appearance, aged in his 20s, and was wearing a grey hoodie, dark pants, and blue sneakers on the night.
New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller described the men as “grubs” in an interview with 2GB radio, and said that “irrespective of what sentence they may get, they should be tagged cowards forever”.
“I’ve never seen such disgraceful footage,” he said. “Someone’s 16-year-old daughters were out, and for them to be assaulted in such a way is appalling.”
The three men were formally refused bail and are due to face court today. Investigations into the circumstances surrounding the incident are ongoing.