Boys shaken after attack
By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.com.au
A MAN offering alcohol and "girlfriends'' to schoolboys on Sunday and who, on the following day, attacked another boy has sent a wave of fear through parents in the Barney Point area.
Police were alerted to the man's presence in the area after he grabbed Gladstone South Primary School student Shane Cherry while he was cycling to school on Monday morning. Shane, 11, was able to escape the man's clutches because he accidentally kicked the man in the stomach as he fell off his bike.
"I got on my bike again and he chased me for about 20 metres but I got away,'' he said.
"When I got to school I was really shaking because of the fright.''
Shane was met at the school's bike racks by his mates Tyson Ning, 11, and Blake Christie, 10, who told him that they had seen a man fitting the same description at Barney Point Beach stinger net on Sunday.
Shane had seen the man before, too, while he was on his way to the beach the previous day to join his friends.
"He had a can of Jim Beam in his hands and he looked at me strangely when I went by,'' Shane said.
The boys went to the school's office and reported the man's actions.
When Tyson's brother Jarrod and Blake's brother Dylan, both Toolooa State High School students who had been swimming in the stinger net the previous day, heard about Shane's experience, they also agreed to give a description of the man.
The boys said although the man had been with a group of people, that was the first time they had seen him.
"He came over and he was shouting like he was on drugs and he asked us if we wanted alcohol and if we had girlfriends and that he could get girlfriends for us,'' said Dylan Christie.
They said the man was between 25 and 30 years old, about 183cm tall and well built.
The boys had described him to police as having dark skin, short black hair "quite muscular", tattoos on one arm and on his back and he was wearing a ripped blue singlet.