AU Shamed by Teens’ Racial Attack on Old Man which Goes Viral
By Athena Yenko | February 28, 2014 2:17 PM EST
Footage of two drunken Aussie teens who racially abused an almost blind, 77-year-old indigenous man while on board a Gold Coast bus brought shame to the country as video went viral overnight - now shared through social media across different countries.
"Shame on the girls, shame on the men on the bus and shame on the bus driver for not doing anything," schoolgirl Rebecca Ribbons told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Ms Ribbons had recorded the incident through her cell phone camera, showed it to her mother who later reported it to the police.
Police were still locating the two teens involved while the victim had already filed a complaint but chose not to speak to the media.
Rosemary Norman-Hill, CEO for Kirrawe Indigenous Corporation had made an appeal for the teens to apologise to the old man.
"Bring them back when they're sober, bring them back to apologise and make them responsible for their behaviour. You may not be aboriginal but he's still an elder, would you do this to your grandfather?" Ms Hill said.
"Once upon a time people would get up for elderly people on the train, on the bus, we don't appear to be instilling that in our young people," Ms Hill said disappointed.
The girls had shouted and made fun of other people inside the bus when the old man reprimanded them and told them to just go home. The girls then started the attack - punching and kicking the old man.
Ms Ribbons then shouted for somebody to stop it as no one showed any intention to do so.
"A man from behind me stood up, picked up their hats and pushed them off the bus. He was the only one who did anything."
Ms Ribbons was disappointed that the bus driver was nonchalant during the whole incident.
"He didn't even look back. Even when the man was getting off the bus I didn't hear him say 'are you alright?'."
"You never expect two young girls to beat up an old man on a bus in the middle of the day, it's unheard of," Ms Ribbons' mother said.
In defence of the driver, Surfside Buslines Head of Operations Les Manson said that their drivers were trained to observe de-escalation techniques.
"All Surfside drivers are trained in de-escalation techniques and the quick actions from this driver has mitigated an incident quickly and successfully."
As for acting chief superintendent Des Lacy the incident was 'abhorrent."
"It's very clearly an assault, what they've done and the fact that he's blind would be a circumstance of aggravation, which means a more significant penalty can be given by the courts. What surprises me is that its women who have done this, and its completely unacceptable."
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