The gay community has been warned to stay alert after a staff member from Collingwood gay sauna Wet on Wellington was bashed in a vicious robbery.
Wet on Wellington manager Shane Gardner told Southern Star the staff member, who wishes to remain anonymous, left the premises on Sunday, July 4 at around 9.30pm and was walking along Peel St, towards Smith St, when he was set upon by at least three men wielding baseball bats.
“My message would be anyone in the area at night to be vigilant and alert after dark and stay in well-lit areas,” Gardner said.
He said the staff member heard footsteps behind him before the attack and remembers the pack of attackers using the word ‘faggot’ during the assault.
The staff member was hit across the head with a baseball bat, then continually struck and eventually robbed.
A head wound required 11 stitches, and the staff member is also undergoing counselling following the vicious attack.
Gardner said his customers did not usually experience trouble when entering or exiting the premises.
He said a similar attack occurred about a year ago when three teenagers hid in a nearby alley before attacking a Wet on Wellington sauna-goer as he exited the building.
Anti-Violence Project Victoria spokesman Greg Adkins said it was critical for someone to call the police should they feel intimidated or are attacked.
“If you’re feeling unsafe it’s important to trust your inner warnings, observe those feelings and the best thing you can do is call police,” he said.
“Then, when you are safe, contact the Anti-Violence Project so we can get a greater understanding into the work that needs to be done for the gay and lesbian community to ensure their safety.”
A spokesman for Victoria Police’s media unit told Southern Star the Melbourne Armed Robbery Taskforce was investigating the attack and were confident of an arrest.
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