Eight injured in party bus 'bloodbath'

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012

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One partygoer was hospitalised and will have facial surgery today after a party bus trip ended in a "complete bloodbath".

Up to eight passengers were injured when a fight broke out on a Charlies Party Bus on Friday night and continued in the car park of the Golden Mile Tavern in Templeton, near Christchurch.

A 21-year-old man was taken to Christchurch Hospital where he was treated for moderate injuries.

He was released on Saturday night with a fractured nose and eye socket, and will have surgery today to rebuild his eye and have a titanium plate placed in his cheek.

Speaking anonymously, the victim said he didn't remember anything before being looked after by the bar owner and his friends at the Golden Mile.

He said the bus driver could have "done something more".

"It does all depend on the people you're with, but the reassuring part of having the (bus) company is knowing that they could do something if anything happened," he said.

Georgine Smith told The Press her son was "petrified" when she arrived to pick him up from the bar.

The fight had started after one patron punched another "over a girl", she said, and escalated when others tried to break it up.

Her son, who wishes to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation, said he asked the bar owners to call the police, but they refused.

"The girl behind the counter had a look out the window, and then came back and carried on serving drinks. She tried to get people to stop calling the police, even the bouncer.

"I understand that there's only one bus driver and eight of them, and he doesn't want to get involved, but why not call the police?"

"It was just a complete bloodbath, there had to be eight to 10 kids there covered in blood."

His mother phoned the police and an ambulance after she arrived.

The police officer who attended the scene was unavailable for comment.

Charlies Party Bus manager Mark Turner said he was called to the incident to help out, but did not see the fight.

He said it was the party organiser's responsibility for "bringing thugs on to the bus", and the bus driver had done "everything he could" to break up the fight. "He did a really good job. What's one guy supposed to do, you know? He did more than what's expected of him."

The owner of the Golden Mile Tavern declined to comment.

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- The Press

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