A FREMANTLE businessman was stabbed in the chest in front of his terrified four-year-old daughter during a random attack in Fremantle’s CBD last week.
The 34-year-old man had been working in the family’s High Street shop on Wednesday before his wife picked him up to attend an event celebrating the arrival of the Peace Ship in Fremantle harbour.
His father, who was working with him that day, says after the event the family stopped for a vegan dinner at the Upmarkets, parking their car opposite the courthouse on Holdsworth Street. The family has asked not to be identified.
They returned to the car about 8pm and were strapping their daughter into her booster seat when the businessman sensed someone behind him and turned around to find a man less than a metre away.
“[My son] asks the guy ‘please step away’, then they guy says ‘I am going to fucking kill you, I’m going to smash your car, give me your women,’ the father says.
“[My son] sits in the car, and the guy swings with a beer bottle and smashes the windscreen.”
As the businessman got out of the car, the man repeated his threats then swung his other arm around and hit him in the chest.
Stunned and initially thinking he’d only been punched, the businessman slumped back into the passenger’s seat and called police while his horrified wife took the wheel and drove them away. It was during what seemed an excruciating wait to get through to police that they noticed blood and realised he’d been stabbed.
The man’s father said after getting through to police and deciding the wound wasn’t fatal, the pair decided to keep driving around the area to make sure the offender didn’t get away before officers arrived.
He says it took at least half an hour for police to respond; meanwhile they’d noticed a paddy wagon with a sergeant from the police dog unit on High Street and asked for help.
The couple also contacted the father who raced up from his home in Spearwood, arriving just as a second police car arrived.
“There was lots of interviewing, and then the police dog handler said ‘I have found him, he was under some trees sleeping rough’ or something like that,” the father told the Herald.
He says despite this, the beer bottle being recovered, and statements from nearby residents, they’ve heard nothing about any charges being laid and are frustrated at what they see as a lack of police action.
The businessman refused treatment in a hospital, but got a quick checkover from ambos before returning home, then a full examination from the family doctor the next day.
“Physically he is much better, but mentally it’s done terrible things,” says his father. “He does not like Fremantle any more and is loathe to come back here again.
“For a four-year-old to see her dad being stabbed and seeing the windscreen being smashed and the flashing lights, who knows how that’s going to manifest, or when it’s going to manifest.”
The father says it’s also tested his faith in Fremantle. “We have seen Freo deteriorate over the years, and are very disappointed with the police response.”
by STEVE GRANT