Athletics official attacked

A well-known Inglewood athletics official received seven stitches to his eye after being attacked by a teenager near his home this week.

Kelvin Wackrow, 75, was shoved against a fence and punched repeatedly after he confronted a pair of teenagers who had been using his driveway as a thoroughfare to Rata St.

"When I saw them down the driveway I yelled at them and they gave me the fingers and I'm afraid I don't like that."

His 16-year-old assailant has been identified by police and is being dealt with through youth aid.

Mr Wackrow has a long association with athletics and sports in Taranaki and is the Inglewood Athletic Club's delegate to Taranaki Centre track and field meetings, is the patron of the Taranaki Athletics Centre, and also a starter at the primary and secondary schools' cross-country races in Hawera and helps out with coaching youngsters.

About 1pm on Tuesday, Mr Wackrow had just returned home from the town and country primary school sports competition when he saw the teenagers on his property.

"We noticed these two guys walk by and they saw us sitting and looking at them and they took off across across the alleyway or walkway, whatever you would like to call it.

"I followed them down and used the words "Who owns you?" and got no answer."

Mr Wackrow's memory of the events after that is hazy, but he does remember being pushed into the fence and hit.

He grabbed one of the teenagers during the scuffle but had to let go when blood began pouring from his left eye.

"He punched me in the mouth too, so I've got a nice lip tattoo."

A neighbour helped Mr Wackrow back to his home, and emergency services were called.

Mr Wackrow said a group of about seven teenagers who had been crossing through several properties, including his, had been told to scram by one of the neighbours, but the pair who attacked him had kept coming back.

"I just wanted to find out who they were and to tell them to stop coming through our premises."

Taranaki Daily News