Vigilante warning follows Coast Road rock attacks

THE latest driver to be pelted with rocks at Casuarina has warned that if the night-time attacks don't stop, they could incite vigilante action.

Daniel Slater was left fuming after his front passenger window was smashed while he was driving home to Hastings Point along Tweed Coast Road about 1.30am last Thursday.

"The passenger window exploded and I was showered in glass," Mr Slater said. "I had absolutely no idea what had happened."

Thinking he may have been shot at, Mr Slater kept driving until he decided it was safe to stop.

When he checked his car further down the road and realised his car had been struck by a large rock, he was so angry he returned to the scene to search for the culprits.

"It is a real gutless and dangerous thing," the 32-year-old said of throwing rocks at moving vehicles.

"What if I had a passenger? There is death involved in doing this. It is attempted murder or manslaughter."

Mr Slater said he called the police right away to report the incident, but they did not attend the scene, near Barclay Drive, and instead referred him to the Police Assistance hotline.

"When someone dies from it and it goes through their windscreen and hits them in the face, then it will be an incident. They will have vigilantes because there are no police down here and people are angry enough to want to do something about it."

The incident comes just weeks after the Tweed Daily News reported on another Tweed Coast resident, John Cowie, who said he had fallen victim to similar attacks on three separate occasions. The latest one occurred in the same area as Mr Slater's car was hit, and left Mr Cowie's car with a broken windscreen. Mr Cowie also said he received what he thought was an unfavourable response from police when he reported the incident.

Mr Slater also knows of a woman whose car was pelted with eggs as she drove along that same stretch of Tweed Coast Road.

It was only on returning to the scene the next day to speak with the Tweed Daily News that Mr Slater noticed a pair of drainage tunnels that run under the roadway where his car was attacked. Originally thinking the culprits, who he did not see but believes to be a group of teenagers, had fled into the trees lining the sports field, he now thinks they were hiding in the tunnels.

"They are using the drain as an escape. Kids do this sort of thing to look good in front of their mates; it's that teenage pack mentality." Mr Slater and Mr Cowie both said they wanted to warn other drivers that the attacks were occurring. "I didn't stop because I didn't want to make myself an easy target for them," Mr Slater said. "It is critical people don't stop -- continue for at least half a kilometre before getting out to look at your car."

Both men agree that if those responsible were teenagers, they would like to see the parents take some responsibility.

A spokesman for the Casuarina Residents Association, Ian Scott, said he was not aware of the incidents, but would bring the topic up at the next association meeting.



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