Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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HomeVolume 28Youths king hit old man in Mall

Youths king hit old man in Mall

Letter to the Editor

I was just set upon by four youths in Todd Mall and I’m completely shattered by the ordeal.

And I’m also so sad that this town I love has come to this.

It was about 5:30 pm, broad daylight.

Surely a 64 year old should be able to walk to the post office without having his life threatened. Why would four youths want to king hit an old man?

The police were excellent but it seemed like it was just a bit ho hum to them and possibly not much they could do.

What’s to become of Alice Springs?

Matt Davidson

[ED – There was no police media release about the attack.]


  1. One has to ask: “What will happen if four non-Aboriginal youths king hit a 64-year-old Aboriginal man?”

  2. I’m sorry mate. Totally unacceptable. Surely with all the cameras in the Mall we could find the culprits. If so they should all be introduced to the consequences of their actions.

  3. Well we all know what happened when six men killed a man on the Todd River several years ago. The problem is that consequences and justice aren’t compatible anymore no matter what the colour of skin you have.
    Alice Springs has a systemically racist divide however everyone of us as individuals should bear the consequences of their actions.
    In law there should be no prejudice in outcomes. The rehabilitation must however address the individuals’ needs and circumstances to enable society to meld cohesively and celebrating our diversities as a force for good.

  4. In a former life as a teacher a 13 year old Indigenous boy threw a chair across the room. He claimed when I got him outside the room that I could not do anything to him because he was Aboriginal.
    This was put to the Royal Commission but got no response.
    A screen flash from the recent referendum (very quick) for the yes vote claimed “your law does not apply out here”. No consequences is the real problem and goes back 40 years.

  5. @ Evelyne Roulette: Aboriginal me are usually tough regardless of their age and predators are looking for soft targets.
    It’s every man for himself in Alice Springs but victims are not randomly chosen.
    The elderly have to show they are keenly aware of their surroundings and look as if they might fight back even if they won’t.
    Scan for threats rather than look directly ahead and return eye contact, no cringing, changing course or walking faster. If approached by youth maintain distance and look directly at all the predators.
    They need to know you could identify all of them.
    Be prepared to avoid being king hit by tucking the chin in like boxers do.
    A blow to the forehead will not result in serious injury but to the jaw or nose it can be fatal.
    Startle predators and attract attention by making a sudden loud noise.
    Most of the time the predators will move on to a softer target.

  6. Sorry you were attacked … but “old man”? 64? Prime of life. As for Trev’s comment, don’t take comments kids make when they’re upset to heart. Certainly not Royal Commission material.

  7. Susan Sidler with respect, are you giving me a lesson on street fighting? Maybe I could teach you. How does your post answer my question?
    Ps.: As I am not a gambler, my name is Roullet not Roulette. (-)

  8. @ Evelyne Roullet: Absolutely not teaching you street fighting.
    My intention was to help the elderly to avoid being assaulted by not looking like a soft target.
    I did answer your question.

  9. Susan, when I’m approached by youths in the mall etc, I tend to say hey fellas how’s it going, and give em a smile.
    I’m 60, been here 30 odd years and never had a problem on the street.
    Maybe I’m lucky but I believe if the kids think everyone thinks they’re evil then that’s what they will be.

  10. @ Dan: Good recommendation. Politeness and showing respect are important.
    Almost all the disputes and violence in town are very targeted, you can walk through the middle of a fight and not be harmed.
    It’s easy to read the headlines or police news and assume that race relations are terrible but that isn’t true.
    How does a small contingent of vastly outnumbered prison officers control the overflowing prison population?
    By showing respect to prisoners as they are trained to do.
    There is an entire section of the jail (Prisoner Services) that has no guards at all and there has never been a serious incident.
    That would be impossible in other jurisdictions.
    There must be a strong response to crime but Alice Springs has a lot to lose if the response becomes vengeful, discriminatory and unfair.

  11. @ Kyle Walker: The problem is that prison is not a deterrent.
    Going to prison has become normalised in Aboriginal society.
    It’s expected as just part of life as an Aboriginal person. There is no shame attached to it.
    Prisoners miss their families but these days most have family members in prison with them.
    The food is OK, and regular, the guards are professional and most are friendly.
    Former prisoners have even tried to get back into the prison over winter.
    Traditional punishment was outlawed and Aboriginal communities were brought into the ambit of Western law by placing police stations on almost all communities, under the Intervention.
    I recall a senior police officer telling me that the planned police station at (name of community) would “drive the troublemakers out and force them to move to areas (such as Alice Springs) where there is a greater police presence”.
    That part worked.


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