Three children playing the popular Pokemon Go mobile game were among six victims of a string of brazen daylight attacks, allegedly carried out by a 38-year-old man, in front of dozens of shocked families at Kings Park.
Distressed park goers witnessed the group of three youngsters, including a 12-year-old girl, assaulted by the Maddington man in Kings Park’s popular Conservation Garden about 10.25am on Saturday, according to police.
The young victims were playing Pokemon Go together when they were allegedly assaulted. He then stole the phone of one of them, a boy aged 14.
Two men, aged 21 and 59, quickly raced over to protect the children before they too were allegedly set upon.
A nearby 20-year-old woman was then punched in the face.
Police say the children and the adult victims were not known to each other. None of the children suffered serious injuries. The Maddington man was arrested by police at the scene.
Police said they received a flurry distress phone calls from members of the public, reporting the man’s allegedly violent behaviour.
“About 10:25am a man phoned WA Police Force to report being assaulted by another man in Kings Park,” a police spokesman said.
Kings Park is an important landmark that should be enjoyed and appreciated by every Western Australian, all of whom have a right to visit safely.
“In the following minutes several other calls were received in relation to the same man’s behaviour, including further allegations of assault and a stealing incident.”
The man has been charged with six counts of common assault, three of them in aggravated circumstances, and one stealing offence.
He will appear in court at a later date.
An appalled Premier said every West Australians had the right to enjoy Kings Park without the fear of violence.
“Everyone’s thoughts go out to anyone who may have been impacted by these events,” Mark McGowan told The Sunday Times.
“Kings Park is an important landmark for our city and our State — a special site that should be enjoyed and appreciated by every Western Australian, all of whom have a right to visit safely.”
The State’s premier park was packed with young families and hundreds of people playing Pokemon Go shortly after the alleged attacks.
“That’s disgusting,” one young mother of three said after learning of the incident.
“Poor kids, I hope they didn’t get hurt and aren’t traumatised.”