It has been one month since a young man died during a brawl involving a group of at least a dozen teenagers at a skatepark in Weston in the early hours of 27 September. Region Media has been told that police are now very close to making an arrest.
The 18-year-old was stabbed multiple times and died at the scene after the group scattered following the violent brawl. Police and volunteers from the ACT State Emergency Service have been chasing leads and knocking on doors in the Weston Creek area ever since.
The 18-year-old was with his 16-year-old cousin. Region Media has been told by sources close to the family that they drove from Jerrabomberra to Weston to sort out an issue involving social media Snapchat posts.
It’s understood that a scuffle broke out and the 18 and 16-year-old were boxed in by three cars. Others are said to have turned up with shovels, baseball bats and knives.
Someone called triple-zero to report the incident and the 16-year-old was treated at the scene and taken to hospital for multiple stab wounds. He was released from hospital a few days later.
A number of families have had their lives torn apart by the violent actions at the skatepark and the events that led to the fatal incident.
Detectives from ACT Policing have been tight-lipped about the circumstances that led to the fatal stabbing, but remain focussed on bringing those responsible before the courts.
Police have said for some time that they are “investigating all the circumstances which led to the stabbing of an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old”.
“ACT Policing has spoken to a number of witnesses who were at the skatepark at the time of the stabbing,” Det Supt Scott Moller said.
He’s also been adamant about ensuring ACT Policing has all the evidence required for a conviction. It appears an arrest is imminent.
“I can assure the community, ACT Policing is doing everything we can to keep the community safe, and bring those responsible for this violent incident to justice,” he said.
Det Supt Moller noted that police were concerned that teenagers had chosen to gather at the skatepark at such an early hour of the morning. He said parents needed to take greater responsibility for their children.
“It’s incumbent on all of us as parents to know where our children are. We’ve got to supervise our children and know what they are up to and intervene when we need to intervene,” he said in relation to the stabbing investigation.
Det Supt Moller confirmed that cyber abuse is at the heart of their investigation.
“If a person sends you threatening, abusive or offensive messages via Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site, they could be committing an offence,” he said.
“Cyber abuse can quickly intensify in scale and nature and it can also feel deeply personal. It can be hard but try not to respond or retaliate.
“Before you block or delete the person and comments, make sure you save the evidence of what has occurred. This can help a police investigation if it’s needed.”
Further to comments from Det Supt Moller, members of the Weston Creek community have expressed their concerns about safety in the area, especially the lack of a police presence.
“In one month last year, there were 43 burglaries in Weston Creek and Molonglo, which is three every two days,” Weston Creek Community Council president Tom Anderson said.
“Sometimes people are at home when the burglaries occur and sometimes the thieves have returned the next day.
“Police do arrive but it can be several hours later. But it’s not just the police at Woden. The police force hasn’t grown with the Canberra population,” Mr Anderson said. “Not much money has been spent on police for a very long time.”