After Indians, now Canadian assaulted in Australia

March 11th, 2010 - 11:38 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, March 11 (IANS) After a recent spate of attacks on Indian students in Australia, it was the turn of a wheelchair-bound Canadian man who was beaten by Australian teenagers in Sydney Tuesday, reports here said.
Heath Proden, 35, from Winnipeg suffered skull fracture in the assault and is waiting for surgery in a Sydney hospital, reports said Wednesday. Proden, who got incapacitated at the age of 10, was in Sydney to attend a concert by his friends’ band called Doc Walker Tuesday night.

His anxious mother Shellan Proden told the Canadian media Wednesday that she was shocked to receive a call about the assault on her disabled son.

“I was devastated. He was having such a good time there,” she said from Winnipeg Beach where her son lived with her.

Canada’s Canwest News Service said Proden was waiting for a train in Sydney following the concert when he was approached and verbally harassed by two teenage boys.

Proden tried to leave but he was punched in the face and knocked from his wheelchair.

Video surveillance of the attack shows the teens stomped on Proden and then hit him with a metal bar they had pried from his wheelchair. They ran off but then returned and beat him some more.

The agency quoted police superintendent Wayne Cox of Sydney’s Mount Druitt police station as saying, “Two young men then came back on a number of occasions into the lift well where he was located.

“They have taken a piece off the wheelchair and used that as a weapon and struck him several times.”

The police superintendent called the attack one of the most serious seen in the area, “particularly when you’re looking at a person that’s confined to a wheelchair.”

Police said a 16-year-old boy faces assault and robbery charges and a second teenage boy has surrendered to authorities.

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