THREE men were left “almost unrecognisable” to their families after being brutally bashed and robbed by a gang of youths in Kingscliff on Sunday.
Nursing black eyes, broken noses and missing teeth, Queenslanders Danny, 19, Colin, 23, and Nigel, 30, say they were just “minding their own business” when they were viciously set upon by seven males and three females, who they believe to be aged in their late teens.
The men, who asked for their surnames not to be published, are from the Ipswich area and had been holidaying at a Kingscliff caravan park with their families over the Easter long weekend.
Soon after 11pm on Sunday night, following a game of cards, the trio walked to a nearby service station to get food.
Finding the Pearl Street service station closed, Danny called his mother to ask if she would pick them up and take them to McDonalds to get food.
While they were waiting for her they were approached by the group of young people who began to beat them, starting with a knee to Danny's head.
The three men were repeatedly punched and kicked until they were on the ground covering their faces in fear.
One of the attackers demanded their wallets and mobile phones.
Danny and Colin managed to break away and ran to get help, while Nigel remained on the ground and was beaten until he was unconscious.
All three men were taken to The Tweed Hospital following the attack.
Danny was yesterday nursing a broken nose, two black eyes and two missing teeth.
He said he was angry about the unprovoked attack, in which someone parted his arms from his face and punched him until his teeth fell out.
Colin had a swollen cheek, a black eye and a sore back
“I remember three people kicking me,” he said. “I was just on the ground hiding.”
Nigel, who is Colin's brother, was said to have been so badly beaten, he looked like something “from a horror film”.
“His eye is just a slit, he couldn't even open it,” Danny's mother Janelle told the Tweed Daily News. “They just kept kicking him. One of the girls leant over him and told him to play dead otherwise they'd kill him.
“He ended up unconscious and they took his mobile phone.”
Colin and Nigel's mother, Dianne, said Nigel was yesterday still in a lot of pain.” He looks really bad,” she said. “He can't open his eye. He can't eat.
“It's just not good enough. They go over there for something to eat and this happens. It's not fair.”
Colin and Danny said they did not believe their attackers were drunk.
“They seemed sober,” Colin said. “They said something about us trying to steal their bikes, but they didn't even have bikes so we think they just made it up. They also said something about having knives, but we didn't see any.”
The assault is the third of its kind since the start of this year.
In January, teenagers used planks of wood to bash three men outside a caravan park in Pottsville.
Just days later, teenage girls were among a group who assaulted a man with beer bottles as he and his partner left the Cudgen Headland Surf Life Saving Club.
Inspector Darren Steel of Tweed Heads Police said he believed the incidents were not related and not being carried out by the one gang.
“These (attackers) are just opportunistic,” he said.
Insp Steel said he was confident arrests would be made due to the “large number of people involved” in the attack.