Facebook posts prompt brawl
A TEENAGER was hospitalised after he became the target of a street brawl in Harristown organised on the social networking site Facebook.
Reports vary on the number of people who, after being invited by a Facebook post, turned up at a Peak Street home to join in a fight between two teenagers on Tuesday night.
The victim of the assault, 19-year-old Josh Mele, believes between 50 and 100 people arrived outside his home armed with baseball bats, an axe and a pitchfork.
Police were unable to confirm a witness report that a gun was also spotted and said the number of offenders and spectators was closer to 20.
Toowoomba Police Sergeant Peter Hudson said police received multiple triple zero calls from scared neighbours just after 6pm.
Five police crews including the dog squad rushed to the scene, causing the teenagers to scatter in their cars.
Mr Mele was tackled on the road and left with a cut to his head that required stitches.
Despite his injuries, he did not want to make a formal complaint of assault.
Those involved had responded to a post by a 16-year-old Toowoomba teenager asking people to come “with me and w - - - tomoro to smash mele and his retarded girlfriend”.
Late yesterday, 32 people had “liked” the post and 54 comments had been made.
Mr Mele told The Chronicle those who had attacked him had used Facebook to harass and intimidate in the lead up to the assault.
Yesterday, those responsible used Facebook to brag about their involvement. One read: “Fun to get flogged by a sixteen year old?”
Mr Mele said: “They’re all on there talking all this stuff about me. It’s just low.
“I don’t think it’s going to stop.”
A Queensland Police spokesman said such behaviour on social networking sites was discouraged because of the negatives consequences that could result.
The spokesman said any victims were encouraged to take the appropriate action and report it to police.
“It is not as offence to post comments such as these, however posting such comments may provide police with evidence to support any charges if an incident does occur.”