Levi Parsons, Daily Mail, December 27, 2020
Up to 150 youths armed with metal poles and bricks clashed with police after a Boxing Day bash at an Airbnb got out of control.
Police were called to the house just before midnight on Saturday by a noise complaint, but when they arrived the mob became aggressive.
Shortly after, riot squad officers with shields and batons were called in to disperse the agitated crowd.
Frightening footage showed crowds of youths attack police and raise dangerous weapons like metal poles and bricks in anger.
Pitched melees broke out in the streets between police, who were pushed back by the much larger mob.
As the tense standoff moved onto the streets, officers shouted orders like ‘move’ and ‘drop the weapons now’, 7News reported.
They also warned residents in nearby homes to stay inside as the sprawling conflict escalated.
‘We were scared. Absolutely terrified,’ a neighbour said.
It’s estimated that tens of thousands of dollars of damage was done to the Airbnb property.
The owner of the short-term rental said the young woman who booked the home lied to her claiming it was for a ‘romantic getaway’.
The Airbnb host, who was too scared to be identified, said she only listed the property on the platform a few weeks ago.
‘So the girls who booked it were among the first guests to stay here, and potentially the last,’ she said.
It is likely the property will be added to a list of 400 others across Australia suspended by Airbnb after a serious incident.
A spokesperson for Airbnb said the digital giant is now looking to expand the screening of ‘high-risk reservations’ to stop parties before they start.
The company added it was ‘deeply disappointed’ after hearing about the violent incident.
As police pushed the mob further away from the home, the large group eventually dispersed into the night.
Only two partygoers were arrested for ignoring police orders. They have since been released and will appear in court at a later date.