UPDATE 1.30pm: EIGHT men have handed themselves into police after footage of a sickening gang attack at a city railway station was released.
A 20-year old Wonga Park man was left in hospital with head injuries after the savage attack, in which saw he was “stomped” by thugs at Parliament Station shortly before midnight on June 19.
Up to 15 people were involved in the brawl, and yesterday police appealed to the public for help locating the eight men that remained at large.
A police spokesperson said as a result of extensive media coverage last night, eight males handed themselves into police this morning.
They are currently assisting Transit Crime Investigation Unit with their enquiries.
The males assisting police are a 20-year-old from Hampton Park, a 19-year-old from Clarinda, a 20-year-old from Glen Waverley, a 21 year-old from Glen Waverley, a 19-year-old from East Bentleigh, a 17-year-old from Clayton, a 16-year-old from East Malvern, and a 16-year-old from Clayton.
Police believe the gang of eight attacked a group of friends after a female member of the group rejected crude advances from one of the thugs.
Det Leading Sen-Constable Mark Sontag defended the delay in releasing images of the alleged attackers, arguing detectives exhausted all other avenues of investigation before calling on help from the public.
“We started our investigation on that particular night, but at this stage none of our usual avenues of inquiry have turned up a suspect for it, and that’s why we’re appealing to members of the public to assist us,” he said.
“There are certain avenues we rely on before going to members of the public, and the investigation has come to that point now.”
Leading Sen-Constable Sontag said the victim was stomped on by two of the thugs after attacking him on an escalator.
“It was a rather messy brawl … he was stomped. I can only put it that plainly,” he said.
“He’s been very lucky. It could have caused significant and long-lasting injuries.”
Five other people received minor injuries in the brawl, which lasted about three minutes.
Leading Sen-Constable Sontag said the group of friends were forced to defend themselves from the thugs, one of whom wielded a nearby barrier like a baseball bat.
“A couple of the males in the non-offending group took no part in the brawl, in fact they froze with fear,” he said.
“They’re not the sort of people that have been in a fight at all in their life before and certainly weren’t equipped with the skills or level of courage you would need to interfere in something like this, despite the fact that their mates were copping quite a vicious assault.”
Police have released eight images of the men they wish to speak with and CCTV footage of the moments before the victim was stomped.
Leading Sen-Constable Sontag urged those involved to surrender to police.
“I’d like to think that once these people realise the gravity of the situation they’re in and the quality of the images we have that they would turn themselves into police,” he said.
Opposition spokesman for Crime Prevention, Andrew McIntosh said the failure to crackdown on violence had seen a rise in these sorts of sickening attacks.
In an election year promise, the State Opposition has committed to put an additional 940 Victoria Police protective services officers on all metropolitan and major regional train stations after dark.
“Under the Coalition’s policy to put armed trained Victoria Police Protective Services Officers on every metropolitan train station after dark Victorians would be protected against these sickening attacks,” Mr McIntosh said.
“John Brumby’s inaction on crime and violence has allowed these sickening attacks to become more and more frequent.”
Anyone with information on any of the men should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au