A Lower Hutt parent is calling for the removal of the Bunny St bus shelters after her daughter was assaulted there on Saturday. (File photo).
WARNING: This story contains video footage that some may find disturbing.
The mother of a 15-year-old girl assaulted at a Lower Hutt bus stop fears “there will be a death” if violence in the area is allowed to escalate.
Two girls were set upon by another group of girls in the Bunny St bus stop outside Queensgate Mall on Saturday evening while onlookers filmed the incident.
“There’s going to be a death soon. It’s just waiting to happen,” the girl’s mother said.
Her daughter came away with bruises and lumps “all over her head, ears and above her left eye”, as well as bruises to her shoulders and back.
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She later discovered video of the assault had been shared on a social media video platform by one of the bystanders.
“I was really angry … it was just so upsetting.”
The girl told her mother she and a friend were approached as they waited for the bus.
“A group of four to five girls had come up to her and said, ‘you have to fight this one girl or else we’re going to gang bash you’,” she said.
The girl also had her phone and bank cards stolen.
The teenager and her mother decided they wanted the video shown to raise awareness about what was happening and to try to prevent it happening to others.
Police confirmed they responded to an incident at 7.30pm on Saturday, where two young people were reported to have been assaulted and had items taken.
A 15-year-old girl and her friend were attacked by a group of teens at a Lower Hutt bus stop and the video uploaded to social media. The mother of one the victims wanted the video shown to highlight to seriousness of the violence.
Two other young people were arrested and referred to Youth Aid, a police spokesperson said.
The area has been the scene of similar assaults. A 16-year-old girl had her head stomped on and was held at knifepoint in August and in 2020 an 11-year-old girl reported being chased from the bus stop after her friend was punched in the face when they made eye contact with a group of youths.
Another Lower Hutt parent, interviewed at the time, said the area had been a hotspot for trouble for many years even when she was in their teens.
“There’s always been problems with the mall bus stop, even when it was the old Queensgate,” she said.
In Christchurch, children as young as 10 are carrying out ramraids, shoplifting and knocking cyclists over using stolen vehicles. Students from the local boys’ high school were warned not to wear their uniform near a shopping centre “just in case” it was making them a target.
The mother of the girl assaulted on Saturday said something needed to change in Lower Hutt.
“I think the shelters need to go because they barricaded people in there. Why wasn’t there security on a busy Saturday evening, prime time?”
The woman said her daughter was now worried about being a target and “too scared to catch the bus to school”.