Joseph Parker and Beraiah Hales have boasted online of
Auckland police have rejected suggestions an inquiry into
the "Roast Busters" group was affected by the involvement of a
police officer's son.
Waitemata police district commander Superintendent Bill
Searle said any allegations of criminal offending by police
officers or their families were taken extremely seriously.
"Recent cases have highlighted that police will not hesitate
to thoroughly investigate staff facing allegations of a
criminal nature and will put them before the court if there
is a case to answer."
The investigation into the group's actions continues. Two of
the young men spoke with police yesterday afternoon and that
information is now being assessed by the enquiry team.
A Senior Detective independent from the investigation has
been brought in from outside the Waitemata District to
provide extra support, Mr Searle said.
Police were aware of a number of social media sites created
by vigilante groups threatening violence towards members of
the Roast Busters group and cautioned them against taking the
law into their own hands.
"We understand the outrage that this group has caused,
however violence will not be tolerated and we will take firm
action against anyone inciting, threatening or using violence
against these people," Mr Searle said.
One vigilante group set up offers a "4k reward for footage of
Roastbusters getting hidings''.
"Will pay for footage of the RoastBusters being taken care
of. We do not encourage violence, simply if you happen to
have footage, we'll buy it from you. Just as a news channel
A post last night said: "Private message once you have
footage. Preferably HD. If you are unable to help with the
video but would also like to see the footage please spread
the word to make finding footage more likely.''
One man last night said there were at least 52 "irate, angry
fathers" ready to dish out their own brand of justice.
He said feeling in the community was so strong that he had
received phonecalls from gang members wanting to get
"We are not law breakers or criminals, we are just fathers.
The scum has entered our streets, the police have allowed the
scum to carry on, and now shi**s going to hit the fan, and
spray all over the police and all over the people's families,
unless the police themselves jump up and take
Group member loses job
One of the young men at the centre of the 'Roast Busters'
scandal has been sacked for his "despicable behaviour''.
Joseph Levall Parker was fired from his job in an Auckland
real estate office amid a public outcry over the group's
online boasts about stupefying underage girls then having sex
One member of the group made an anonymous apology on Facebook
and two members came forward to police yesterday, but a
concerned father last night claimed he had dozens of people
ready to take vigilante action if no charges were laid.
It is understood at least one of the girls who got involved
with the group has attempted suicide.
Mr Parker failed to show up to work yesterday but his manager
said he had since been fired. The manager said he acted in
the "strongest possible fashion'' once he learned of Mr
Parker's association with the group.
His brother, Anthony Parker, worked in the same office but
didn't show up yesterday.
His employer said Anthony would get the ``opportunity to
provide evidence that he has had no part to play in this
despicable behaviour", or he too would be sacked.
According to Anthony Parker's Facebook page, he became a
father on Sunday night, when the scandal broke. Last night he
had changed his work status to self-employed. He did not
respond to a message requesting comment and his brother
closed down Facebook page yesterday.
It is not known how many people are part of the Roast Busters
group, but Joseph Parker - not the high-profile boxer - and
Beraiah Hales boasted of their involvement in a video posted
Police confirmed last night that one of the members was the
son of a police officer. The Parker brothers are the sons of
Hollywood actor Anthony Ray Parker, who appeared in The
His New Zealand agent Gail Cowan wouldn't comment on the
"Anthony Ray would like his privacy respected here. He has no
interest in speaking to the media.''
The group appears to have been based in west Auckland, with
members going to schools including Green Bay High and
Avondale College, according to their Facebook pages.
A Facebook page also mentioned Kelston Boys High School
(KBHS), but Principal Brian Evans said this afternoon that
the school was not linked to the Roast Busters.
Police have confirmed that KBHS was never part of their
two-year investigation into the Roast Busters, he said.
Police had been monitoring the Roast Busters Facebook page
for two years and had been in touch with schools those
involved used to attend.
Detective Inspector Bruce Scott of Waitemata Police said the
page had been left open for "operational and tactical
"Whilst we acknowledge it was upsetting for the victims, it
was being monitored for information or evidence that would
assist our investigation,'' he said.
He insisted the group had been "vigorously investigated'' but
that there was nothing more police could have done to bring a
case to court.
"We continue to look for evidence that will assist us in
determining whether there has been any criminal offending and
then once we've got this evidence we can make a determination
on what our next move is,'' he said.
"We continue to talk with girls involved in the group. The
difficulty is that we don't want to re-victimise the girls,
some of them don't wish to engage with us and we can't push
them to talk to the police.''
Avondale College could not be reached for comment but Green
Bay High principal Morag Hutchinson said it was disappointing
the legal system didn't offer protection to the victims.
"We look to the law to protect us all, but especially those
who are vulnerable because of their youth and naivety. For
those of us who work with young teenagers, in this situation
our role is to support the victims and their families.
"It is extremely frustrating when the perpetrators cannot be
held to account, even when they brag openly about their
actions in a public forum.''
Labour's women's affairs spokeswoman Carol Beaumont said the
group's actions amounted to gang rape.
"Our police pride themselves on being proactive. Surely that
could have extended to tracking these youths down and clearly
signalling that what they are doing is not OK.''
She described the lack of arrests and prosecutions as
"astonishing", and said government ministers in charge of
policing, justice and women's affairs "need to ask some hard
questions and then take some action''.
Mr Scott fended off accusations of inaction and said police
interviewed two men in relation to the page yesterday,
including one who had previously refused to co-operate with
The fact one of the men involved in the page was the son of a
police officer had not influenced the investigation or the
decision not to prosecute, he told 3News.
NetSafe executive director Martin Cocker said there was
concern other young men would be inspired by Roast Busters.
"What we're seeing increasingly is ... people get away with
this kind of behaviour and publicly get away with it, and
people recognise the extent to which you can behave badly
online and get away with it compared to the behaviour you can
get away with in society,'' he said.
However, Law Society criminal law convenor Jonathan Krebs
said police had their hands tied.
"They [the Roast Busters] actually have to do something
that's against the law, and bragging about something on a
website, at the moment that I can see, is not against the
law,'' he said.
"Just because someone boasted on a website doesn't mean it's
true, and we don't want to start convicting on bragging.''
- Patrice Dougan