Man bashed in ‘bloodthirsty, homophobic' gang attack
THIS man has vowed never to return to Queensland after claiming he was taunted and viciously bashed by a "bloodthirsty" gang of teenage thugs at one of the city's largest shopping centres.
Joshua (surname withheld) says he was on a one-week holiday visiting family from Melbourne on Tuesday when he and his 16-year-old brother were set upon at Coomera Westfield.
He suffered broken ribs and a swollen face. His little brother sustained fractured ribs, a swollen eye and split lip.
Joshua says the pair were "hunted" down at the shopping centre after a terrifying homophobic rant and beating by a group of teenagers on a bus that morning.
He says he and his brother were called "f - king faggots" and "gay c - ts".
Hours later at 2.10pm, the pair were eating lunch at a restaurant at Coomera Westfield when a group of about 10 teenagers attacked them again.
Some members of the gang were present during the morning attack, he says. The bashing lasted a few minutes.
They were taken to Gold Coast University Hospital by ambulance.
Joshua said the attacks had left them shaken and reinforced the notion that the Gold Coast - and much of Queensland - remained homophobic.
The 21-year-old said he and his adopted family had moved to Melbourne to escape homophobia after living in Queensland, and that he was up here visiting his biological family on a one-week holiday.
"It's just horrible, it's cruel," he said.
"It was completely unwarranted, it's just brutal violence. It's a hate crime. I feel like I can't go back to Queensland (anymore), it's shaken me.
"I feel like me being gay, that I have put him (my brother) in danger. It wasn't once but twice. I have a lot of guilt."
During the attack, Joshua said they spotted the group looking around the area as if "hunting" someone, before the teens made their way over.
The gang only stopped attacking them when a security guard rushed over, he says.
"They were bloodthirsty … the first time was very traumatic but the second time they hunted us down.
"We didn't even get the chance to stand up from the table and defend ourselves, they kept stomping on us. It was relentless."
Despite the attack, Joshua said he hoped those who attacked them could "find happiness within themselves, because the only people that hurt people, are those who are hurt".
A Queensland Police Service spokeswoman said police attended the shopping centre on Tuesday and investigations are continuing.