Queenstown bouncers are among the most assaulted in the country, a security boss says after a rash of alleged attacks.
Dunedin-based Damian Black – who runs national firm Allied Security which provides door staff to many of the resort’s clubs and pubs – puts the blame squarely on visitors.
Black – commenting after bouncers at Queenstown CBD nightspots were allegedly attacked in five separate incidents over the last week – says refusing entry to people who are too drunk is often the flashpoint.
“Unfortunately this occurs more often in Queenstown because the aggressor has less personal investment in the town,” Black says.
“That means the risk to that person from poor behaviour socially, in employment, and in legal risk is either lower or perceived as lower, than as a resident. Often these people are also leaving the area within set time frames and do not perceive the longer term effects of their actions.”
Black, whose firm has provided security in Central Otago for 16 years, believes there needs to be greater public awareness of the penalties.
The rough weekend for bouncers started on Friday – two British men, 26 and 27, were arrested on Searle Lane after one allegedly took a drunken swing at a doorman who’d barred them from a pub. They were charged with disorderly behaviour.
In the early hours of Sunday, a Queenstown man, 33, was arrested after he’d allegedly hit a doorman who was escorting him from a bar on The Mall because he was too drunk.
Sergeant Steve Watt says the patron has been charged with assault.
At the same time, a Queenstown man and his girlfriend, both 22, were attempting to assault a bouncer as they were ejected from another bar on The Mall.
The man threw a punch that connected weakly with the bouncer’s back while the woman allegedly slapped and pulled at him. Both were given pre-charge warnings by police.
A Brazilian man, 36, was charged with assault after allegedly punching a doorman on Searle Lane in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Police say he’d been denied entry but snuck in and tried to hide in the crowd and punched the doorman as he was being escorted out.
Then on Tuesday morning at 12.30am, a doorman at a Shotover Street bar was allegedly hit over the head with a walking stick by a Queenstown man, 35, who had been denied entry. The doorman suffered bruising but didn’t require medical treatment. Police are attempting to locate the 35-year-old.
Fancy a burger?
Police busted a half-dressed British woman, 19, squatting and urinating on Beach Street last Saturday at 1.40am.
“There were some guys nearby trying to eat their burgers,” Watt says.
She got a pre-charge warning.
Know these men?
Police are asking Queenstowners to help them trace two men who failed to appear in court.
Sean Courtney O’Neil (above left), 30, is the subject of an arrest warrant issued from Tauranga District Court in September after he failed to attend on a charge of wilful damage.
O’Neil, from Liverpool, England, works in hospitality.
“He is thought to be working in a Queenstown cafe or restaurant,” a Facebook post from Bay of Plenty police reads. “Has he applied to work at your business?”
Chef Kevin Townsend (above right) faces a more serious charge.
Townsend, 46, has a current warrant to arrest issued by Queenstown District Court for burglary. He is 154cms tall (5ft 1in).
Two tourists, both 27 and from the UK, were arrested for unlawfully being on a boat in Queenstown Bay.
The man and woman were “clowning around” on board the Million Dollar Cruise boat moored in the bay at 12.30am on Saturday, Watt says.
Police issued both with pre-charge warnings.
Queenstown boat operators have in recent weeks raised with police the issue of people going on to their boats without permission while they’re moored in the bay.