BENDIGO police are fuming after a violent weekend in the CBD saw one of their own attacked and punched to the head in an unprovoked assault.
The male officer on duty at the time was set upon outside the Black Swan Hotel about 1am yesterday.
At the same time, just one block away, a 48-year-old man was bashed by a group of youths outside HuHa nightclub.
The man was rushed to Bendigo hospital with serious facial injuries and a 16-year-old boy is helping police with their inquiries.
Sergeant Tony Kekich said he was furious with the attitude of drunken revellers in the CBD on Saturday night.
“Some people seem to think they can do whatever they like,” he said.
“They seem to forget they are governed by the law.”
Sergeant Kekich said the assault on a uniformed officer was a particularly “cowardly” act.
“Police had attended outside the hotel in relation to a disturbance where a male was denied entry,” he said.
“At that time another unknown male assaulted the police member by punching him to the head.
“He immediately fled the scene.”
Sergeant Kekich said the man was wearing a red T-shirt and jeans and appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.
He said the young officer had been left with soreness and bruising to the face.
“It’s a low act, a cowardly act,” he said.
“Here we are trying to help other members of the public when all of a sudden he is set upon by a cowardly man who wants to punch and run.
“It’s just pathetic.
“We are not going to tolerate this sort of person and this sort of behaviour at all.
“When we find him he will be dealt with, with the full force of the law.
“He will be facing quite serious charges.”
New legislation introduced by the state government this year means anyone charged with seriously injuring a police member, or any emergency services worker, faces an extra one year in jail on top of their sentence.
Sergeant Kekich said that law couldn’t come soon enough.
“Police come up against the threat of physical violence every day,” he said.
“But we all want to go home in the same condition we came to work.”