Victim of Yamba riot devastated
DEAN Everson has had a tough couple of weeks.
A close call with a white pointer shark at Turner’s Beach on the Saturday before last was followed up last weekend with a car torching at the tail end of a wild party in one of Yamba’s industrial areas.
Dean’s car was parked immediately next to the police car burnt to a shell in the same riot.
“I had half my life in that car – my phone, my wallet, an iPod, a $400 board, $100 flippers, a $200 esky, paperwork for my certificate II (in engineering),” said the 18-year-old.
Dean said he had attended the party at Fairtrader Drive on Saturday night but left the premises by foot about midnight because he was tired.
“I went to a mate’s place up the road and spent the night,” he said.
“The next morning I went to get my car and there was a police officer there who told me it was a crime scene ... I saw my car and just broke down crying.”
Dean said he was devastated by the scene, not only because of the material possessions lost, but because he had slept in his car in that location several times previously at other parties.
“I could have been killed – people are talking about this like it’s a joke, but if I was passed out in the car it could easily have been a homicide,” he said.
“It’s disgraceful – people were acting like animals.
“It’s such a setback for me ... especially from some dickheads having fun – or whatever they want to call it.”
The teenager works 12 hours a day in two jobs – one at the Clarence River Fisherman’s Co-op, Maclean and another at the Yamba Fish Market – for award wages.
Dean said he planned on becoming a police officer when he was older and couldn’t fathom the disrespect police had been shown in the incident.
Although his car was insured, Dean said the contents were not.
He said he had already started to receive community support for his losses, including an offer of a loan board from surf company Foam Children.
Dean said he was interested in securing an engineering apprenticeship or traineeship as soon as possible in order to secure a trade before starting a police career.
As mentioned in The Examiner earlier this week, at least 15 people have been arrested, most of them formally charged over the Sunday morning incident.
It is believed more arrests are likely, pending the review of police video evidence.
It took a specialist police squad armed with batons and riot shields to bring the 100-strong gathering under control.
‘It’s disgraceful – people were acting like animals.’
Only the weekend before, Dean had another distressing experience, an encounter with what he believes was a 2.5 metre white pointer shark at Yamba’s Turners Beach.
“The shark threw itself out of the wave at me,” Dean said. “All I could think to do was throw the board at it."
The board made contact with the shark and probably distracted it, but the ordeal was not over. Dean had to swim through a rip to get back to the safety of dry land.