Four swimming pool staff have been beaten in an attack in Melbourne's north. Stunned witnesses said about 30 youths had punched and kicked staff, including a young woman, on the grass at Oak Park Aquatic Centre about 4pm yesterday. One witness, Alex, said families had recoiled in horror at the bashings. "I've never seen anything like it," Alex said. "I thought, 'Not another Cronulla'. "There seemed to be dozens of people involved, with most wading into the staff and people trying to help them. "They all appeared to be Middle-Eastern youths. "It was very upsetting and scary. There were hysterical children everywhere."
Nicholas Burt, leisure manager at Moreland Council, which runs the pool, said the riot had occurred after a male lifeguard had tried to calm two teenagers arguing on the grass embankment. Mr Burt said a third youth had butted in and when the lifeguard had escorted him to his belongings, after asking him to leave, a struggle had broken out. "That's when up to 30 other patrons started to physically attack staff," Mr Burt said. Three male lifeguards and one female security guard had been set upon by the group.
Mr Burt said that amid "blows to the back of the head and around the face", the staff had been driven into the pool's reception area. He said the attack had continued until police arrived. The staff, including one who suffered a smashed cheek, had been taken to hospital for treatment.
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