RESIDENTS of Page Avenue say they won’t stand for the brutal behaviour that left 76-year-old Francois Beugels battered and bleeding in the gutter on Sunday night.
Mr Beugels was on his daily walk at 6.30pm on Sunday on Pitt Street, North Nowra when he noticed two teenagers following him.
He continued walking onto Page Avenue, where he was assaulted near the intersection of Goolagong Street.
Residents of the street are shocked and disgusted but determined not to be made to feel like prisoners in their own homes.
Cerese Whitmore has lived in Page Avenue for 10 years.
She was the first to see the attack.
“I heard it but at first I thought it was kids mucking around, then I heard cries for help,” she said.
“I came outside and saw these two young kids bent over a man punching and kicking into him.
“It looked like they weren’t going to stop hitting him. I yelled at them to get off him and they ran off,” she said.
It was then that a group of local teenagers in the street went to help Mr Beugels with blankets and pillows and phoned emergency services.
Josh, another resident of the street, heard the attack.
He said he could tell it was a fight and when he went outside he saw two people running down the street.
By this time Mr Beugels was barely conscious and bleeding heavily.
“Some of the others had gone off to find the guys who did it,” Josh said.
“We waited with the injured man until the ambulance came.
“I just sat next to him and talked to him trying to keep him conscious.
“There was lots of blood all over his face, it was pretty bad,” he said.
Another resident who did not want to be named said he had lived in the street for 24 years.
He said residents were shocked by the incident.
“This street is a fine street. Something like this happening is not OK,” he said.
A few of the residents who walk in the afternoons have decided to start a walking group for safety.
Kathy, who recently moved into the street, said the reason she relocated from Sydney to the South Coast was to get away from “that type of behaviour”.
“It’s pretty disgusting and people are up in arms - we’re all talking about it.
“I get so cranky that people think they can get away with that sort of thing.
“We moved down here because we were sick of this rubbish in Sydney.
“In Sydney I wouldn’t go walking after dark, no way. People organise group walks in Sydney and I’m determined to start something similar here.
“We want this man to be able to continue walking, and we’ll walk with him for safety in numbers,” she said.
The reactions from people in the wider area have also been of shock and anger.
John O’Leary from North Nowra said teenagers had to be taught to respect their elders.
“I’m an ex-soldier and have done three tours for my country,” he said.
“I’d be happy to catch up with these kids before the cops do.
“I don’t take kindly to that sort of thing.
“If they want to fight, send them to Afghanistan and see how long they last.”