Christopher Talbot, AAP, December 14, 2017
A large gang of youths has bashed and robbed beachgoers and fought with each other in wild scenes at Melbourne’s St Kilda Beach.
Police say the large gang, described as African in appearance, are wanted over a series of robberies and assaults at the beach and surrounding areas on Wednesday night.
Witnesses say there were hundreds of youths and police were outnumbered.
“The police officers handled it the best they could but they were really outnumbered and struggled to get a hold on it,” witness Greg Robinson told Seven News.
A 16-year-old boy and his friends were allegedly punched in the face and robbed on the foreshore, youths stealing their phones, watches and the shirts off their backs.
“They left them standing half nude in the street”, the boy’s father Alex Carter told Seven News.
“These guys are so clever the way they do it (the robberies), that it just sort of looks like a couple of teenagers having a bit of fun.”
Dozens of the youths then went to St Kilda McDonald’s, throwing furniture at windows and fighting inside the store.
Mobile phone footage taken at the beach show youths fighting in front of beachgoers, in one a girl punching and elbowing another girl in the head.
Police won’t detail how many people were attacked and robbed and there may more victims that are yet to come forward.
“Their behaviour was just totally unacceptable and I’d call on them to come forward and hand themselves in before we track them down,” Inspector Jason Kelly told reporters on Thursday.