Teens ‘stabbed for being Aussie’ as gatecrashers attack
TWO teenage boys who were stabbed several times at an out-of-control Christmas house party believe they were targeted for being Australian.
Joel Sarlo, 18, was stabbed twice in the back in Koo Wee Rup, Victoria on Saturday and his mate Matt Dromell was stabbed once and was almost kidnapped.
Describing the terrifying moment the attackers turned up, Sarlo told Channel 7 that a gang of 15 strangers appeared, armed with knives.
He said he and his mates were celebrating with around 100 other people at a mate's farm at the time.
"They grabbed my throat, put a knife to my neck and started walking me out and trying to get me into their car," Mr Dromell told Channel 7.
"They tried to stab me twice in the stomach but missed and stabbed me here (his back).
"I dropped to the ground and crawled to the stable and hid there until they left.
"I thought I was going to die. If it wasn't for my mates who were there thankfully, I probably would be dead."
According to witnesses, the alleged attackers were heard shouting "Aussie scum" as the brawl took place. A 17-year-old, believed to be an Iraqi national, was arrested trying to leave the property. He has been charged and bailed.
Mr Sarlo said he was stabbed while trying to save his friend.
"I seen him getting pushed around and starting to get punched so I run over to him quick and I pulled one of them off and I pushed him away," he told the station.
"And then as soon as I did that, about six of them, they just jumped on me and in the midst of it all I got stabbed."
Mr Sarlo was rushed to Dandenong Hospital in an ambulance, suffering stab wounds to his lower back and side.
Mr Sarlo claimed the attack was unprovoked.
"Two of my mates got bashed. One went to hospital. One other mate got stabbed in the arm before me. He was just trying to protect some girls that were being hit and abused."
However, his alleged attacker, a 17-year-old boy, was charged and released on bail - a decision labelled "ridiculous".
He told news.com.au he couldn't believe the suspect had been given bail when the stab wounds were "close to his vital organs".
His mother told the told the Herald Sun that the family feel let down by the justice system again.
She told the paper that years ago a close family member, Maddison Murphy-West, had been murdered.
A suspect was previously named but charges have never been laid. The investigation into her death continues.
"I am so angry. The justice system is a joke. We were let down with Maddison and have been let down again with Joel," Ms Murphy told the newspaper.
"The bail system needs to be reformed. Something has to happen."
Victoria Police said Sarlo's attacker was charged with multiple offences including assault with a weapon, recklessly causing injury, intentionally causing injury, and unlawful assault.
He is expected to appear at a children's court at a later date.
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