Australian police are looking for a woman who allegedly punched a 15-year-old girl in the face during what they say was a racial attack on a Sydney train. A description of the assailant, who is described as “a Caucasian with tanned skin” has been communicated to all the media and national manhunt or womanhunt is on to find her.
The teenager, who was of Asian appearance, was sitting on a train with two friends when a couple boarded at Parramatta about 2:00pm yesterday.
Police said the woman in the couple started verbally abusing the 15-year-old girl before physically attacking her as the train approached Lidcombe.
Inspector Sean Gabin from the Flemington Local Area Command said it was an unprovoked attack.
“Approaching Lidcombe, the female and the male have got up from their seats and the female has grabbed the 15-year-old girl by the hair and has started to punch her several times to the face,” he said.
“She’s also proceeded to knee her to the body and continue to assault her to the face.”
Inspector Gabin said fortunately the girl was not seriously hurt and she and her friends had given statements to police.
[She] is described as Caucasian with tanned skin, she’s aged in her late 30s to early 40s, and she’s described as having a black front tooth and missing teeth.
“There were other people in the carriage who were also of Asian appearance and we’d like to speak to anyone who was on that train or who may have recorded the incident,” he said.
“We’re also making enquiries in relation to CCTV on the train and on the platform at Lidcombe and Parramatta rail stations.”
The woman also allegedly kicked the window of the train when she got off at Lidcombe.
“[She] is described as Caucasian with tanned skin, she’s aged in her late 30s to early 40s, and she’s described as having a black front tooth and missing teeth,” Inspector Gabin said.
“She was wearing a blue shiny top and black pants.”
Inspector Gabin said the man she was with is not alleged to have taken part in the attack.
“He’s described as Mediterranean or Middle Eastern in appearance, with a slim to medium build, and he has a tattoo on the left side of his face which looked like a smiley face,” he said.
‘It sends a horrible message overseas’
Anti-Discrimination Board president Stepan Kerkysharian said the nature of the attack is distressing.
If we’re having this kind of attack it’s going to hurt us as a nation as well as hurting individuals and it’s going to create an environment of insecurity.
“Attacks of this nature make people feel insecure, particularly when it’s a young student,” he said.
He said it could also have far-reaching ramifications that could deter international students.
“It sends a horrible message also overseas because Australia is an education destination for many people particularly from China and from other parts of the world,” Mr Kerkysharian.
“If we’re having this kind of attack it’s going to hurt us as a nation as well as hurting individuals and it’s going to create an environment of insecurity.”
Mr Kerkysharian said if found, the person responsible should face the full force of the law.
“To me when it comes to racism, there can be no leeway,” he said.
“We cannot go soft on racism because the ultimate objective of anyone who is a racist is the destruction of people who belong to that race.”