Alcohol-fuelled street brawls in Springwood on consecutive nights last weekend shocked the community and left two young men in hospital, one with a head injury so serious he had to be induced into a coma for more than 40 hours while swelling to his brain subsided.
A Katoomba man appeared in court yesterday with a string of charges against his name — including recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, affray and breaking bail.
Matbagan Cadiogan, 24, of Wellington Road, Katoomba, was charged on Monday over the alleged assault on Saturday night which left the 20 year-old Faulconbridge victim in a coma for two days. He applied for bail but it was formally refused and he will appear in Penrith Local Court by video link on October 26 (the other unrelated breach bail matter will be heard on November 5). He was represented by solicitor John Ward.
A police spokesman said after the brawl — which involved 25 to 30 young men — police were forced to use capsicum spray and batons to subdue the crowd.
The court heard that at 8.45pm on Saturday, a large street dispute erupted between two groups of people outside the Royal Hotel and onto Macquarie Road. The Gazette understands both groups were engaged in a pub crawl covering several Mountains towns.
Blue Mountains Police crime manager Detective Inspector Mick Bostock said the groups became involved in a minor dispute involving “pushing and shoving” inside the pub. The exchange was broken up by security staff who removed a number of participants from the pub. A larger dispute between the groups continued outside and the victim was allegedly punched in the head, causing him to fall and sustain a large cut to the back of his head when he hit the roadway.
He was taken by ambulance to Nepean Hospital where he had surgery and was put into an induced coma.
The man’s father — who did not wish to be named — said yesterday his son was “progressing very well” after waking from his coma about noon on Monday.
“With a head injury it’s a guarded prognosis of course,” he said.
Dozens of people left messages of support for the victim on Facebook including this 19-year-old who posted: “You are a beautiful person inside and out, we all wish you the quickest recovery but we know you will pull through anyway, you have so many people behind you.”
To stop the brawl from spreading to other parts of Macquarie Road on Saturday night, extra police were called in to control the “large group of aggressive males in various levels of intoxication.
“A number of people were sprayed with capsicum spray and a 21-year-old Faulconbridge man was arrested and later charged with resisting, hindering and assaulting police,” Detective Inspector Bostock said. “He was granted conditional bail to appear at Penrith Local Court on November 15.”
An earlier incident on Friday night left a 22-year-old Springwood man with injuries to his forehead that required 10 stitches in hospital.
Police are still investigating this incident.
At the time of going to press, police were reviewing CCTV footage from inside the Royal Hotel and also on the street in an attempt to identify further witnesses. Detective Inspector Bostock said alcohol was “definitely a factor” in both Macquarie Street brawls. “People have to understand that they have to drink responsibly and they are accountable for their actions.”
He said anyone who may have witnessed the events should call Springwood detectives on 4751-0299.