A trainee teacher continues to fight for his life after being
assaulted in central Auckland in what police describe as a
Tarun Asthana is in a "critical condition causing concern",
an Auckland City Hospital spokeswoman said.
The 25-year-old is surrounded by family and friends, after
falling victim to a brutal attack near Britomart at 5.10am
Police said Mr Asthana was standing on the pavement after
leaving McDonald's when he and another male spoke briefly.
Detective Senior Sergeant Peter Florence said Mr Asthana was
punched in the head and fell "heavily", striking his head on
Mr Asthana was taken to hospital in a critical condition and
remained in intensive care.
His friend Eddie Lo, who was with Mr Asthana but left before
the attack, said he had been told the trouble flared after Mr
Asthana complimented a young woman on her dress.
"She had a go at him because she thought he was hitting on
her, and then her boyfriend runs up and smashes him in the
head and runs off. He was just complimenting her and she went
"It's so tragic that this could happen to him."
Mr Lo, a dance instructor, had been to see Mr Asthana in
intensive care unit yesterday.
"His mother was at his side praying. The waiting room and the
entire hallway was filled up with friends and family. It was
packed. There was a lot of grieving, a lot of crying.
"He's too young to be in this situation," said Mr Lo.
Mr Asthana had DJed in several Auckland clubs, performing
with the Sweet Mix Kids at Britomart bar 1885, said Mr Lo.
Another friend, Ludwig Worrall-Bader, who trained to be a
teacher with Mr Asthana at the University of Auckland's Epsom
campus, said his friend was "full of life and beyond nice".
He said he was "such a good guy. He would drop anything for
you and be there if you needed him".
Mr Asthana was not the sort of person to provoke an attack,
Police were still trying to locate the assailant last night.
They were examining closed-circuit TV footage for a clear
image of the culprit or the assault.
Mr Florence said the attacker had been in McDonald's with
several other men and women and the group had left straight
after the attack toward Quay St.
The assailant was described as Maori or Polynesian with a
solid build, light blue long-sleeved shirt, and a tattoo on
his right forearm.
Anyone who was in the area at the time should call Auckland
police on (09) 302 6516 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800
- Amanda Snow of the Herald on Sunday