Letter: Hit and Run assault

The incident took place in the laneway connecting Connell Place to Prince St, south Bellingen
The incident took place in the laneway connecting Connell Place to Prince St, south Bellingen

We are writing as concerned local residents to report a serious hit and run assault, in the pedestrian laneway between Connell Place and Prince Street on Sunday May 27 at 4.35 pm.

For about six months, two unregistered dirt bikes have been regularly speeding along the narrow pedestrian walkway. On one occasion a nearby concerned resident witnessed a young toddler being missed by a narrow margin and realised action was needed to address this dangerous situation.

On the afternoon of Sunday May 27, residents reported to the police that two unregistered motorbike riders had again ridden at high speed along the narrow pedestrian laneway, along Park Street, and off towards Scotchman’s Road.

As this had gone on for some time without resolution, when the two motorbikes could be (loudly) heard returning at high speed through Bellingen, past the tennis courts, and along Park St, a concerned resident entered the laneway with intention to take a photo to aid the police in their investigations, and to ask the riders to stop. 

Initially both the riders stopped long enough to verbally abuse the resident. One of the riders then moved forward, hitting the man who became caught in the motorbike and was dragged the length of the laneway for about 30 metres.

When the resident was able to throw himself free of the bike, the other rider allegedly threatened the man.

The resident is a gentle community-minded soul, who is a committed and caring worker in the local health industry. From their home overlooking the laneway, a mother and her young child also watched in horror as the whole scene unfolded. The police attended and the resident went to hospital with bruising and abrasions. The young child has been in shock and trauma since.

At the time of writing the riders have not been apprehended.

This laneway is used by the community every day and night, often by schoolchildren and the elderly.

We ask the council to give their urgent attention to erecting barriers and signs that would prevent motorbikes from using this laneway.

We appreciate any support from the wider community in identifying these riders and making our streets safer for all.

If you have any knowledge or information that could assist please call Bellingen Police on (02) 6655 1444.

Name provided and withheld