POLICE have stepped up patrols of the Tamworth bus interchange in the wake of a “sickening” attack which went viral on social media and saw a 15-year-old boy charged.
The teenager has been granted conditional bail to front Tamworth Children’s Court in the new year charged with affray and assault, accused of attacking a vulnerable 20-year-old on Tuesday afternoon.
Detectives allege the 20-year-old was struck several times, including in the head, in a drain at the corner of Peel and Jewry Streets about 2.30pm before he was allegedly set upon again at 3.30pm at the bus interchange, at the railway station.
School students captured the assault which was uploaded to SnapChat and later Facebook on Wednesday, sparking a police investigation.
The video also appears to show the victim saying “stop” and “I want to be friends”.
“No don’t, don’t, please I want to be friends,” the victim is heard to say.
The 15-year-old handed himself into police on Wednesday night and was charged with two counts of affray and two counts of common assault.
Detectives allege the pair are known to one another and investigations are continuing into the actions of onlookers including any provocation or the filming of the assault.
Senior police labelled the attack “sickening” and said the victim was being “well supported by family and friends” and did not require medical treatment.
On Thursday, police were seen patrolling the bus interchange after school.
The Department of Education did not respond to a request for comment on security or safeguards it provides for students at the bus interchange and Transport for NSW does not operate coaches on Tuesdays at the bus interchange.
“The incident happened at the bus interchange, not Tamworth railway station itself. The bus interchange is managed by the local council,” a Transport for NSW spokesperson said.
The incident was not reported to NSW TrainLink station staff, so they did not have the opportunity to assist.- A Transport for NSW spokesperson
“The incident was not reported to NSW TrainLink station staff, so they did not have the opportunity to assist.”
Council could not be reach for comment on Thursday afternoon.
The boy cannot be identified because the matter is before the court.
The Director of Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Armidale, Chris Smyth, would not comment on any disciplinary matters involving the student and said the incident was a police investigation.
“We are appalled by that sort of violent behaviour, and it’s against our value system,” he told The Leader.
“At this stage it is subject to a police investigation and we have to await the outcome.”
Police have seized the footage and say further charges could be laid.