UPDATE: Vigilante victim opens up about terrifying assault
UPDATE: 3.25PM: A 23-YEAR-OLD man has spoken of the terrifying moment he was attacked in the Gympie CBD after being mistaken for an alleged sexual predator.
Scraped and bruised, with a blackening eye, the Gympie man (who asked to remain anonymous) has begged people to think before they act.
"Please consider what your actions are," he said.
He was walking along the northern side of Mary St about 10am today to "get out of the house" when he was set upon by a male vigilante, reportedly in his early 20s.
"He said 'you're that guy who touched a 13-year-old girl'," the man said.
Denying the accusations and trying to back away from his accuser proved futile.
The vigilante laid into him, forcing him to the ground in a "leglock".
"I was on my ass in the gutter," he said.
While there were a number of people in Mary St at the time, he said no-one tried to intervene or help before his assailant stood up and simply walked away.
Shaken, the man reported his assault to the police.
"I don't understand it," he said.
"You actually have to make sure you know who the person is.
"We need to teach everybody, no matter where you are, to think about it."
He was particularly concerned his attacker could quite easily do it someone else.
"They just want to start attacking things," he said.
Worse, he did not even know the details behind the crime he was being accused of.
EARLIER 1.20PM: GYMPIE police are asking residents refrain from taking matters into their own hands following an alleged vigilante assault in Mary St this morning.
According to Gympie senior sergeant Gregg Davey, a man was attacked in the main street about 10am after he was mistakenly identified as someone who is currently facing criminal sex charges.
"Don't take matters into your own hands," Snr Sgt Gregg Davey said.
"It is the job of the police to investigate and prosecute persons suspected of committing crimes and to ensure justice can be served through a fair trial.
"If you have concerns, please contact the police."
Police are still investigating the matter and are asking any witnesses or people who may have dash cam footage of the incident to please come forward.