The New South Wales Police are looking for a red sedan that was reportedly driven by homophobic hoons who attacked ABC reporter Mark Reddie and his friends on Sunday morning, hours after the Sydney Lesbian and Gay Mardi Gras parade. Star Observer has learnt that there were others who were attacked possibly by the same or another group of hoons –  one also involved a bottle thrown at a gay couple. 

“Police have commenced an investigation after a man was assaulted in Surry Hills at the weekend,” the NSW Police said in a statement to Star Observer about the attack on Reddie. 

“The 33-year-old man, accompanied by three friends, was reportedly walking along Riley Street about 3.30am yesterday (Sunday 7 March 2021), when a red sedan stopped and the four male occupants threw eggs, hitting the group.  The vehicle was seen driving off towards Oxford Street,” the police said.

Police Looking For Red Sedan, CCTV Footage

Mark Reddie reported the incident to the Surry Hills Police Area Command on Monday. The police said its inquiries are continuing and sourcing and reviewing any CCTV footage would be part of its investigations.

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The police urged any witnesses or anyone with information about the incident to contact Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.

Reddie had tweeted about the attack on Sunday morning soon after the incident. Reddie and his friends were leaving a Mardi Gras party when a car screeched on its brakes on Riley Street. The occupants of the car threw boxes of eggs at Reddie and his friends, and sped off laughing. “Clearly they were targeting the LGBTQI community – gay hate crimes still exist,” Reddie, who is openly gay, said. 

Mark Reddie, was however, not the only victim of homophobic hoons. Sydney resident Steven Collins and his boyfriend were targeted twice within a span of five minutes at the corner of Riley and Oxford Street. 

Other Victims Of Homophobic Hoons On Mardi Gras Night

“My boyfriend and I had two incidents while walking home (within five mins of each other) – a glass bottle thrown the first time, eggs the second. I didn’t realize a bottle had been thrown at us (it missed us), but I did wonder where the bottle came from. The eggs didn’t hit us either – we got some splash back as they hit the wall.”

“I’m just glad the bottle didn’t hit either one of us… or that people didn’t get out of the cars,” Collins said, adding that he was not able to grab the number plate. 

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Collins and his boyfriend then stopped another group who were walking near them, to give the car time to go around the corner, in case they returned to attack. 

Collins said he was planning to report the case to the police on Tuesday. “(The incident) was just a shock more than anything. It served as a reminder to stay vigilant – I think it can be easy to be complacent,” said Collins.

Star Observer has learnt that another person who was attacked at Kings Cross by hoons in a red car had managed to get the number plate.

High Visibility NSW Police Operation For Mardi Gras

The attacks were reported even as NSW police had mounted a “high-visibility operation” for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on Saturday evening. According to the police its operations covered “Moore Park, Oxford Street, Hyde Park and public transport routes to and from the area”.

The police operation “involved general duties officers, assisted by specialist units, including the Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, Dog and Mounted Unit, PolAir, Licensing Police, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and Police Transport Command”.

On Saturday, the arrests made by the police included four members of the Department of Homo Affairs, who had protested before the police contingent at the Mardi Gras event at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

In another unrelated incident, the police on Saturday night arrested three men aged 29, 23 and 21 who were charged with assaulting two teenage girls at Pirrama Park, Pyrmont. 

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

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