An eyewitness watched in horror as a gatecrasher being
dragged from a party near Eden Park was seriously assaulted
shortly after he left the Auckland Nines tournament.
The 23-year-old left the stadium with his brother and was
walking along Bellwood Ave in Mt Eden when he came across the
A witness to the assault, which occurred about 8.15 on
Saturday night, said partygoers began drinking throughout the
day but there had been no trouble. However, tenants had been
forced to shut the gates to keep uninvited people out - Eden
Park is only about 250m away.
But people kept walking on to the property and neighbours
heard a lot of "who the hell are you" type comments addressed
to the uninvited guests.
The victim suffered head injuries and last night was in a
serious but stable condition at Auckland City Hospital with
his family at his side.
A witness described hearing the assault, "which didn't need
to happen". It began with shouting, which turned into a
scuffle and then a fight.
"I went outside and saw them trying to evict this guy from
the premises by dragging him," the witness said. As this
happened, punches had been thrown.
"He got beaten up quite badly. This guy was drunk, wanted to
have a few beers, decided to gatecrash somewhere, meets
people who don't want him there and a fight occurs.
"It's such a sad thing, both for the people who might have
hurt this guy and the person who got hurt. It didn't need to
happen," the witness said. "My thoughts go out to this poor
guy ... I was totally horrified by what happened."
The incident was out of step with the "jovial atmosphere"
around Eden Park. "What happened wasn't a reflection of what
happened at the stadium or the Nines," the witness said.
Detective Inspector Chris Cahill said: "Staff have spoken to
residents and partygoers and are trying to get to the bottom
of what took place and who is responsible for the young man's
"We are liaising with hospital staff and supporting the man's
family at this difficult time."
A man who was at the party and knows the residents said it
was supposed to be a quiet gathering.
"There were about 50 people or less, I would say. The party
had been organised by the people living in the house and
everyone invited their own friends, which was meant to be a
fun [time] and not turning out this way," said the man, who
spoke on the condition his name wasn't published.
"I was sitting in the back of the house with some friends and
... we rushed over and I could see the guy lying down on the
ground ... Everyone was shocked by what happened."
He believed the victim and his brother weren't from Auckland.
He has earlier spoken to the man injured.
"He wasn't any trouble and was a really friendly and good
person and didn't deserve that at all," he said.
"I don't know if he was invited or not, all I know is that he
knew one of the guys there, not the flatmate but a guy who
was invited. It's possible he has been asked to leave the
Extra officers had been rostered on to help police the city
as thousands attended the weekend's big events.
There were only a handful of arrests at Eden Park. Despite
more than 100 people being checked by St John staff on site,
no one was taken to hospital.
"Considering the number of people out and about over the
weekend there's been little out of the ordinary for police to
deal with," said spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty.
- Jimmy Ellingham of APNZ and Anna Leask of the New