Facebook mob turns feral

Last updated 12:02 20/08/2014

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A party organised on Facebook ended up out of control when a mob of drunken Taranaki youths turned on police and pelted a patrol car with bottles. 

The group of up to 80 youths confronted police after being kicked out of a party on Silby St in Waitara about 10pm last Saturday.

''The gathering was a result of teenager placing an open invite via Facebook to a party that was to occur at his address,'' Constable Jay Berentson said.

''The parent of the teenager who had organised the party was unaware of the party and turned partygoers away from her address but the crowd continued to grow and remain outside.''

Berentson said when police arrived the crowd moved off and a patrol car followed the crowd down to the intersection of Silby and Bayly Streets.

''As police neared the intersection, several bottles were thrown from among the crowd. One bottle hit the police car and smashed the windscreen. Three to four other bottles struck the car but did no damage,'' Berentson said.

Back-up from New Plymouth was called in and the crowd was dispersed without further incident, he said.

Sergeant Bruce Irvine said when an open invitation was placed on social media there was no control over who turned up.

''Generally when we go to parties that are out of control it's because the party was posted about on Facebook,'' Irvine said.

''That's the danger of social media, once it's on there you have no control over what happens. When parents plan parties they normally let us know when it will be and how many people they expect, if we attend it's only to get rid of gate crashers,'' he said.

Berentson said police were looking for any information that could assist in identifying the offenders.

Information can be passed confidentially to Berentson at the Waitara Police Station on 06 7549201 or through Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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