Head-kick assaults worry Queenstown police

Queenstown police have warned that somebody could get killed, after three cases of violence in the resort over the weekend - two involving victims allegedly being kicked in the head when they were on the ground.

Police say an Australian man was knocked to the ground and kicked in the head on Friday night after derogatory comments were made about the suit he was wearing.

The 11.55pm incident at the top of Queenstown Mall was witnessed by bystanders and captured on CCTV cameras.

Sergeant Kate Pirovano said two men were arrested - a 29-year-old man from Waikato was charged with common assault and a 26-year-old man living in Queenstown was charged with assault with intent to injure for allegedly kicking the victim while he was down. Both would be appearing in court, she said.

The 40-year-old victim received a gash to his forehead and a swollen jaw and was treated at Lakes District Hospital. He then received a warning from police for disorderly behaviour.

Sgt Pirovano praised the resort's new CCTV system and acknowledged the help of independent witnesses, as there were differing accounts of the incident.

"Once again our CCTV system is proving its worth," Sgt Pirovano said.

At 11pm on Saturday a 19-year-old man knocked an 18-year-old to the ground and kicked him in the head in Cow Lane, Sergeant Mark Gill said. He said the offender fled the scene but was located by police yesterday and charged with assault with intent to injure.

He is due to appear in the Queenstown District Court on November 19.

Two Brazilian brothers were arrested after they were refused entry to a bar and got into an altercation on the corner of Rees and Ballarat Sts at 2am yesterday. The brothers, aged 18 and 20, are due to appear in the Queenstown District Court on November 19 charged with a behavioural offence.

Sgt Pirovano said the offender continued the assault when the victim was on the ground.

She was concerned about such assaults, urging people to think about the consequences of such actions. "Periodically, police are seeing assault seriousness increase when offenders place kicks to the heads of victims that are obviously no longer a threat when they are on the ground, and this is a concerning feature of some assaults because of the potential to seriously injure or kill someone."


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