Youth violence in West Tweed
A MAN fears for his life after being assaulted by the same gang of youths who are believed to have driven another to take his own life.
Philip Gadsby, 47, will lose six of his teeth after being bashed with a cricket bat two doors down from where Jacaranda Avenue resident Martin Grove, 62, fatally shot himself last month.
The run-in on Saturday night was the first of four Mr Gadsby had with the group in less than a week.
Mr Gadsby said about 15 youths attacked him at once in the Tweed Heads West street about 8pm.
“I was just walking home and they were yelling at me and telling me to stay at my end of the street. I didn’t do anything to provoke them,” Mr Gadsby said.
“They began chasing me before they caught up to me in Jacaranda Avenue. It was right near where Martin shot himself.
“They used a bat on me at one stage, I didn’t see it coming.
Mr Gadsby was walking from the Seagulls club to his home in nearby Riviera Avenue, which is a street away from Jacaranda Avenue, when the incident occurred.
“Now I’ve got stitches on the inside of my mouth and one of my teeth actually pierced the skin, they hit me that hard,” he said.
Mr Gadsby, a mechanic by trade, said the first incident left him afraid to leave his home.
Two days later, he was verbally abused about 6.15am outside his property.
Mr Gadsby said the violence returned on Tuesday about 5pm when about 15 youths attempted to enter his house.
He said one tried to kick his door down.
“They were screaming for me to get out the front,” Mr Gadsby said.
“My de facto eventually managed to get them to leave. A lot of neighbours came out as well to see what was going on.
“My kids are only 10 and 12. They were absolutely terrified. I’ve had to give them a special place to hide in the house next time anything like that happens.”
On Wednesday Mr Gadsby was kicked off his push bike and into guard railings near Cobaki Bridge.
He alleged all the incidents were done by the same gang of youths.
“These kids are absolutely fearless. They are attacking people in broad daylight,” he said.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do next.”
Mr Gadsby believed the assaults were a case of mistaken identity.
“If I had done something to them I would understand, but there is no reason for it,” he said.
Mr Gadsby said other residents are fed up and have seriously considered vigilante action.
“We were thinking about forming our own posse next time they harass one of us,” he said.
All matters were reported to Tweed Heads Police but Mr Gadsby is frustrated with the response.
“They (police) have done nothing yet. It’s as if they don’t want to know what’s going here,” he said.
Tweed Heads Police Sergeant Garry Jardine said investigations into the assaults are on-going.
“Police are now doing regular patrols of that area every day,” Sgt Jardine said.
Last month Mr Grove shot himself in the front yard of the youths he thought were responsible for a series of incidents of harassment and bullying.
According to friends and family he had been targeted by the gang for more than a year and could handle the torment no longer.
After returning home from a night shift on December 11 he found his car and front yard trashed and his door covered with faeces.
He walked to the house of the youths he believed to be behind the vandalism and shot himself.
He died in hospital the next day.
Just two weeks later, 71-year-old neighbour Ron Roberts found his prize rose garden vandalised.
It was the third time his garden had been trashed in a year.
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