A top Victorian policeman was the target of a brazen assault at the weekend near a Melbourne train station with fellow officers labelling the attack “abhorrent”.
Transit and Public Safety Command Assistant Commissioner Chris O’Neill was allegedly targeted by two teenage brothers close to the Toorak train station in the inner suburb of Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.
Police claim the assailants boarded a train at Southern Cross during the afternoon and started tormenting passengers, peeing and vomiting throughout the carriage before being kicked off by authorised rail officers at Heyington station at 5.30pm.
O’Neill – who was near the vicinity at the time – was allegedly set upon by the teens, identified by police as being 18 and 19-years-old, on the grounds of St Kevin’s College – with the boys suspected of kicking and punching him in the chest before fleeing the scene.
The police officer made his way back to the train station before being transported to hospital where he was treated for injuries to his head and broken ribs.
Speaking about the incident in a press conference on Monday, Southern Region Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill slammed the teens for the attack, labelling the assault “abhorrent”.
“This is a serious matter, one we want to resolve sooner rather than later,” he explained. “It’s only a matter of time that the two individuals will be apprehended by Victoria Police. They are known to us, we are dealing with their mother and father and have spoken to associates and friends.”
He added: “This was a despicable act, someone going about their private business and to be attacked like this, it’s just not good enough. This behaviour is abhorrent.”
O’Neill, who was off duty at the time of the attack, suffered serious injuries from the assault with Hill explaining he had broken ribs, significant bruising, some bleeding on the brain and possibly a damaged kidney.
However, thankfully, the police officer is on the mend and according to Hill is now recovering back at home.
“Chris has been released from hospital,” he confirmed during the press conference. “He will make a full recovery and will return to duty sooner rather than later.”
The shocking attack comes after a total of five police officers were attacked while on duty across Australia in just 24 hours last week.
This included an assault on a 24-year-old constable who was stabbed in the neck with a makeshift spear and a senior constable who was allegedly punched in the face by a teenage girl.