THE vicious beating of a man by a gang armed with nail-studded baseball bats appeared premeditated, said lifeguards who treated him at Sydney’s Bondi Beach.
Bruce ‘Hoppo’ Hopkins, star of Bondi Rescue, told news.com.au: “It wasn’t a random attack.
“A male was sitting on North Bondi hill and a group of males got out of a white Mercedes and had baseball bats with nails in the bats and started hitting him.
“It all went mad.”
After the brutal attack at around 1.15pm, the men raced back to their car and victim Michael Nicholas, 34, stumbled down to the promenade.
“They weren’t sticking around,” said Hopkins. “Police were called, we were called. The guys gave him first aid. He had some major wounds and he’s obviously in a lot of shock, they couldn’t get much out of him.
“It’s a shocking thing to happen, we don’t want to see this around there. There are a lot of kids around there and families.”
Lifeguard Anthony ‘Harries’ Carroll treated Mr Nicholas at the scene and he was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in an ambulance for X-rays with gashes to his head.
In terrifying footage of the attack obtained by 7 News, the men are heard shouting, “Come here!” as they chase after Mr Nicholas and beat him with their weapons on the grassy area at North Bondi.
Mr Nicholas was reportedly sitting with a woman at the time but she had gone by the time lifeguards arrived. Seven reported the attackers had links to bikies and the attack was over a girl
“I saw a guy being beaten with some sort of object,” ice cream vendor Chris O’Neill told the cameras. “Everybody was screaming and shouting and there was chaos.
“He was just running for his life sort of thing, he was just trying to get away. He looked pretty messed up, his face above his eye was in a pretty bad state.”
One witness said the weapons were “psychotic, like movie props”. He said there was a metal pole and a bat wrapped in barbed wire.
A woman said one of the men shoved her and her pram, and she shouted at them, not realising what was happening.
“A few guys seemed to be chasing after them to try and catch them before the police came,” one witness told the Daily Telegraph.
Lifeguard Hopkins told news.com.au that his team handled the daylight attack with professionalism. “We get a lot of body retrievals and suicides, we know how to deal with a lot of situations.”
Police could not confirm exact details to news.com.au before appealing to the public for more information.
A woman who treated the man posted on Facebook that the victim had “severe injuries”.
“This happened in broad daylight on a beautiful Bondi day. Seriously what is going on in the world!? Life must be pretty bad if that is your idea of a good thing to do on a sunny Thursday.”
Police have confirmed to news.com.au that officers were at North Bondi and a crime scene has been established following the frenzied attack.
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A witness told the Wentworth Courier people he heard yelling at the beach.
“I saw the guy who got hit kind of fall over and stumble a bit,” the Bondi resident said.
“The guy with a bat, or a metal rod or something, hit him over the head.
He described them as tall and caucasian, shirtless and wearing board shorts.
“Most people were grabbing their towels and used that to stop the bleeding a bit,” he said.
“His whole face was covered in blood and his hair as well.
Channel 9 reporter Chris Urquhart tweeted that the scene was “quite sickening” and the incident had been described as an “axe fight” by a witness.
The attack happened on a grassed area overlooking the busy beach in North Bondi.
NSW Ambulance Service said a man aged in his 30s had sustained head injuries in a suspected assault. He was transported by ambulance to Darlinghurst’s St Vincent’s Hospital in a stable condition.