Mass brawl closes Westfield shopping centre, Mt Druitt
By Katherine Danks
The Daily Telegraph
February 04, 2011
SOCIAL networking sites like Facebook helped tip-off police about a planned brawl in Mount Druitt last night.
Police intercepted online chatter between two gangs and learned of their plans two days before the pre-organised fight, Acting Assistant Commissioner Wayne Cox said.
Mt Druitt police also received a number of tip-offs from elders in the Pacific Islander community and called in the Public Order and Riot Squad, Dog Unit, mounted police and commuter crime unit.
Up to 100 teenagers and young men armed with crude weapons made with glass descended on the Westfield Shopping Centre about 7pm.
There were general scuffles and fights between individual persons or one person on six people or vice versa,'' Mr Cox told reporters.
There was a whole range of different incidents occurring at the one time. Police were able to pull those incidents apart and grab the main offenders and then arrest and charge them.''
The fight began over ``general insults'' traded between the groups, one of which is linked to Mount Druitt and the other from the Granville area. He said both groups have Pacific Islander backgrounds.
There has been some banter between the two groups in relation to insults being traded and this is obviously turned in to a ridiculous outcome for them,'' he said.
Mr Cox said police were waiting and prepared for the fight when it broke out. Thirteen people were arrested at the scene and police believe they will make more arrests after looking at security vision from the shopping centre
When you have large groups like that, they have that mob mentality where they really don't care about other people and that's why we were there,'' he said. We read the situation correctly and certainly had the resources to deal with it affirmatively.''
Police seized two baseball bats and a number of home-made weapons from the scene.
Those arrested ranged in age from 16 to 22 and they have been charged with a combination of affray, assault police and resist arrest offences.
One of the juveniles, aged 16 will appear in Parramatta Children's Court today, while three of the men, aged 20 and 19, will appear at Mt Druitt Local Court later today.