TWO boys, believed to be 12 and 13, have been charged after a terrifying daylight assault on an elderly woman and her dog in Tamworth.
Police have condemned the attack as “disgusting” after the woman tried to protect wildlife in Bicentennial Park on Thursday.
Witnesses told police the boys, who cannot be identified, were throwing rocks at the ducks in the park’s pond when the elderly woman, who is also a well-known volunteer, told the pair to stop.
The two accused allegedly turned and circled her, verbally abusing her and another park worker who came to her assistance.
When the man tried to call police, it is alleged the boys knocked the phone out of his hands and began whipping him with tree branches.
It is understood the woman was struck on the left shoulder before the boys fled on foot.
After the victim sought to ascertain the whereabouts of the boys, they confronted her again and at this point the 12-year-old allegedly exposed himself to the woman.
Police said the victim tried to escape from the pair, but the offenders circled her again before allegedly striking her and her dog several times, including hitting the small dog in the head.
A pregnant woman who witnessed the incidents raised the alarm and police arrived on the scene within minutes, searching for the pair who had fled across the footbridge.
Shortly after, the boys were found running towards Gipps St and were arrested at the scene.
“Police were disgusted at the incident that occurred,” Inspector Kylie Endemi said of the alleged facts that have been tendered to the court.
After police took statements from witnesses, the 12-year-old boy was charged with several offences including affray, assault, wilful and obscene exposure, committing an act of cruelty upon an animal and having goods in personal custody, while the 13-year-old was charged with five similar offences.
Inspector Endemi said both boys were refused bail by police and spent the night in custody on Thursday.
“This sends a strong message to the community that this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated,” she said.
“The police provided a very quick response to the incident and as a result were able to apprehend the alleged offenders and put them before the court.”
Both boys fronted Tamworth Children’s Court yesterday where acting Magistrate Steven Jackson refused bail for the 12-year-old boy.
He will remain in custody and appear in court next week.
After lodging a bid for release, the 13-year-old was granted bail to reside at a home outside of Tamworth.