Youths smash dog’s head with brick in brutal attack
AN American woman travelling in Australia has spoken out about the horrific attack on her, a friend and their two pet dogs by a group of youths outside a Cairns hostel.
Californian woman Lauren Disher and her friend, Australia-New Zealand dual citizen Rayleigh Kelly had taken their dogs Chip and Ollie out for a late-night walk and a bathroom trip early Monday morning, just after midnight.
They were travelling in a campervan, which they'd parked outside Summer House Backpackers on Lake St, where they had booked a few nights.
As they were approaching the van, they heard a group approaching them, yelling loudly about their dogs.
Ms Disher said the group, which consisted of about eight people, four male and four female, had a grey-silver sedan parked next to their van and wanted to get in, but had a problem with the dogs.
"We told them the dogs were inside and restrained, but they approached the van and just started hurling verbal abuse," she said.
"They were looking for a fight, trying to provoke us and we were trying not to provoke them since we knew we were outnumbered.
"One of the girls reached over one of the guys and punched me in the mouth."
Ms Disher said the situation quickly escalated, with one of the guys in the group brandishing a large concrete brick.
"He was holding it up to our face, saying he was going to hit us with it or smash the windows of the van," she said.
"One of the girls punched Ray in the bridge of her nose, it was bruised, swollen and bleeding."
Ms Disher said Rayleigh's dog Ollie, an American staffy was still outside the van on a leash, while her dog Chip was inside barking.
"All of a sudden, the group had gotten Ray on the ground and the guy holding the concrete brick threw it at Ollie's head," she said. "The first blow knocked Ollie on the ground, and then about three or four times thrown it at his head repeatedly.
"All we could hear was Ollie's barking and crying. One of the group was tipping a drink out of a bottle, pouring it over Ray while on top of her.
"At this point, I ran over and grabbed Ollie's head and started holding it, I was so sad."
A group of people staying in the hostel who had heard the commotion came out and started videoing the incident, which scared the youths off.
Ms Disher said another lady staying in the complex had filmed it from a balcony.
According to police, the youths fled and got into a small silver coloured vehicle and drove down Smith St into Sheridan St.
Ms Disher said while the experience had been horrifying, she was grateful people had shown up to help before it could have gotten worse.
"I'm not letting it tarnish my view of Cairns or Australia, but you have to be aware that danger is out there."
The offenders are described as being youths of various ages and of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander appearance.
Anyone with information regarding the offenders' identities is urged to contact Policelink on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Originally published as Youths smash dog's head with brick in brutal attack