A young New Zealand man appears to have escaped permanent
injury after he was king hit as he and his brother walked
home from a Sydney club early on Saturday, his father says.
But Alex McEwen, 19, potentially faces months of
rehabilitation after he suffered a a fractured skull, brain
bleeding and spinal damage during the attack outside a
McDonald's restaurant in Penrith.
He and his brother Lance McEwen-Henderson, 21, were standing
on a one-metre high wall when they were approached by a man
about 1.30am, local media reported.
The man, Corey Beard, 21, allegedly punched both brothers,
knocking Alexander over the wall, causing him to hit his head
and lose consciousness.
As well as the assault, Beard is charged with possession of
steroids found in his home.
Alex's father Rodney McEwen was in Auckland when he heard the
"Initially we didn't know whether there was going to be any
brain damage or not, because these head injuries can go
either way," he told APNZ today.
He flew to Sydney to be with his son, who was put in an
induced coma in Nepean Hospital after the attack.
He was now awake and talking and there did not appear to be
any permanent damage.
"Yesterday they did a scan and the bleed in the back of his
head has reduced in size so it's going in the right
direction, it's looking good.
"Now he's just on a strong med for a bad headache."
Mr McEwen said his two sons had met a group of girls at the
McDonald's as they made their way home.
"They were basically talking to these girls when these guys
pulled up and just started going ape s*** and screaming and
attacked them, basically.
"The guys sort made out as if they were trying to steal their
girlfriends or something like that. It was just stupid. It
was just an excuse."
Alex moved to Sydney recently to live with his older brother,
who had been there for three years, and both were working in
warehouses in the city.
"He's off work now and he's got no pay, he's got no money
from nowhere now. He's going to be off work for possibly a
couple of months at least now so he's lost I don't know how
many thousands of dollars because of these mongrels," Mr
"It's bloody terrible. These buggers need to be dealt to, the
penalties need to be stiff enough so that they think twice
before they do it. It destroys families and it destroys
Lance told the Seven Network the attack came after a young
woman in the car park posed for a photograph with Alexander.
"I was just freaking out because you never like to see your
younger brother on the ground," Lance said.
"I thought he was dead, to be honest.
"Some guy was holding his head up and I was just screaming,
'Call the ambulance, call the ambulance'."
Beard was charged with offences including recklessly
inflicting grievous bodily harm to the teenager as well as
assaulting his brother but was bailed when he appeared in
Parramatta Local Court yesterday.
Beard's legal aid lawyer said his client had told police he
was acting in self-defence.
Beard was granted conditional bail, with the magistrate
saying that it was a "regrettable incident ... involving
violence between young men", the Daily Telegraph reported.
The attack comes just days after Daniel Christie, 18, was
punched during a night out in Kings Cross, leaving him in a
coma, while his brother Peter suffered facial injuries.
It prompted New South Wales Police Minister Michael Gallacher
to give his support to re-labelling of violent offences so
the wording reflected the "gutlessness" of the so-called king
"King hit somehow suggests there was some sort of fair fight
and something to be looked upon as a significant victory," he
told reporters on Friday. "There is nothing victorious in
this gutless act."
There have been several such instances in New Zealand, too.
Sky TV employee Billy Dawson died after being punched once in
the head outside Auckland's Spy Bar during the Rugby World
Cup in 2011.
The man who punched him, Kit John Murray, was sentenced to
five years' imprisonment.
Primary school teacher Tarun Asthana, 25, died after being
assaulted in Auckland CBD in November.
He suffered a serious head injury when he fell onto the
pavement after being punched in the face.
Naval rating officer Grenville David McFarland has been
charged with his manslaughter.