An American tourist in Australia was twice beaten unconscious within ten minutes, both times by the same alleged assailant who stood over him and taunted him after each attack, ABC News Australia reports.
At about 11:20 p.m. local time Wednesday night (8:20 a.m. Thursday morning, Eastern Time), the unidentified, 32-year-old man was walking through Melbourne’s Bell Street and Plenty Road tram station when he was attacked, apparently randomly and without any clear reason, by an unidentified assailant.
Detective Senior Constable Matthew Coleiro said that the assailant beat the man into unconsciousness, and then stood over him and taunted him. A few minutes later, the victim regained consciousness, and the assailant again beat him unconscious, stood over him, and taunted him. The assailant then left the area.
Later, the victim regained consciousness once more, and staggered around until a passer-by was able to help him, a full 25 minutes after the assault originally began.
The attack appears to have been completely random, and not motivated by robbery, as the assailant does not take anything from the victim, says Coleiro.
“It appears to be unmotivated at this point, the victim is seen quite clearly stepping off a tram walking on his own, this unknown male runs up to him and we don’t know why at this point.”
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The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a brain bleed as well as a broken jaw.
Victoria police are not releasing any information about the man’s identity, other than saying that he is a traveling American musician who has been in the country for about six weeks. He has no friends or family in Australia. His family in the States has been notified, and he was due to fly home on Saturday.
He doesn’t remember the assault, says Coleiro.
“The victim is unfortunately suffering some serious memory loss as a result of the assault, so he can barely recall the incident occurring.”
The assailant is described as slim, in his early 30s, balding with dark hair and a dark beard. As of this writing, police have made no arrests.
According to travel blog Nomad’s World, Australia has a low crime rate and strict gun laws. As a result, its generally considered a safe tourist and holiday destination. As in all cases, of course, precautions are in order: avoid traveling alone, stick to well-trafficked areas, and keep a close eye on your personal belongings.