A 3-week-old baby was taken to hospital and a mother was injured after a man allegedly jumped on them as they lay in a tent in a suspected “hate crime” in Christchurch.
Christchurch imam Gamal Fouda said a young man jumped on the tent where the baby and mother lay in Scarborough Park in Sumner at about 8pm on Saturday.
Fouda, who was there, said the man made racist comments to the family after the incident, including “go back to your country”, and told them they “can’t even speak English”.
The baby was taken to hospital but was not injured and the mother had a sore neck and a cut on her foot. They left hospital about 7am on Sunday, he said.
The man, who was with a group, fled the scene in a car driven by his friends after the attack, Fouda said.
A group of people, including Fouda, ran after him and stood in front of the car.
“One person came out from the car with a metal bar and attacked others, but we stopped him and got the bar from him and it was given to police as evidence,” Fouda said.
The group apprehended the attacker and called police at 8.23pm. A “Kiwi hero” held the man until police arrived about 10pm and took him into custody, he said.
Fouda said it was a serious incident.
“It could be a hate crime,” Fouda said.
“The man watched the family for some time and then waited when a 3-week-old baby was inside a small tent with a young woman, then he jumped and landed on the lady and the baby.”
Fouda said police had told him the man would be charged with a “hate crime with intentions to harm a baby”.
A police spokesperson said they responded to a disorder incident on Heberden Ave in Sumner around 10pm.
“An 18-year-old man was taken into custody. Inquiries into the circumstances of the incident are ongoing.”
Police had yet to comment on whether it was a hate crime or if the man had been charged.
This story was originally published on Stuff.