Charges laid over Rangeway riot on Christmas weekend

Michael RobertsGeraldton Guardian
Police broke up a riot of about 150 people in Rangeway on the Christmas long weekend.
Camera IconPolice broke up a riot of about 150 people in Rangeway on the Christmas long weekend. Credit: Mal Fairclough/The West Australian

Geraldton police have charged almost 20 people after tempers flared in a violent riot on the streets of Rangeway on the Christmas long weekend.

Police say about 150 people — some as old as 60 — were part of a brawl that broke out on Abelia Street about 2.30pm on December 27.

It took officers about 40 minutes to break up the large-scale fight after they were called to the scene, police charging 18 people with 22 offences.

Those charges include disorderly conduct, taking part in a riot and possessing a weapon.

A person was charged with one count of animal cruelty after allegedly kicking a dog.

No one was seriously injured in the brawl, according to Geraldton officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Chris Martin.

But he said a number of people sustained minor injuries to their arms and police would follow up claims of assault.

He said police hadn’t been able to work out what exactly triggered the street brawl, but the main offenders had been warned they would spend time behind bars if the violence continued.

“The people we’ve identified as being responsible have subsequently been charged and placed on very strict protective bail conditions,” he said.

“If those bail conditions are breached they will be taken into custody.

“It has been made very clear to those involved that their behaviour is unacceptable.”

Sen. Sgt Martin said the street brawl was highly distressing for local residents.

“For those who live in the area it is very unsettling for them, for their families,” he said.

“As much as they have nothing to do with it they are unfortunately affected by the actions of a small minority.”

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