Offender still at large after unprovoked Octagon stabbing

A twenty-one year old male was stabbed in the early hours of Sunday morning near Dunedin’s Octagon, in an attack that has provoked on-going shock and worry among the local community. 

The victim had received multiple stab wounds to his neck and back in a seemingly unprovoked attack, which occurred outside the “Bottle O” store on the corner of Princess Street and Moray Place at approximately 3.30am. 

He was admitted to hospital after bystanders came to his immediate aid. They reportedly applied pressure to the wound and constantly talked to him in order to make sure he remained conscious until a police officer arrived at the scene and took over. Understandably onlookers were very distressed at the scenes of blood on the pavement and hysteria among those who witnessed the attack. 

According to the New Zealand Police website, “a large number of people were in the immediate area outside Brimstones nightclub at the time” of the attack and are appealing directly to anyone who may have seen the offender before he ran or saw suspicious activity in the immediate vicinity before or after 3.30am. 

The ODT reported that one of the first to help the victim, local resident Dan Parkes, remarked: “What… is this place coming to? This is our home.”

According to Statistics New Zealand, the Otago Coastal Area has seen 249 ‘acts intended to cause injury’ in January, February, and March, up only 4 incidents in comparison to the same three months of 2015. Christchurch on the other hand witnessed 531 incidents during January, February, and March 2016, up 7.2 percent on the same period of 2015. 

Due to the police’s unresponsiveness to Critic’s enquiries it is unknown whether the offender had been apprehended at the time this piece went to print (as of May 5). 

Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity at that time and saw the incident, and are appealing for them to contact Dunedin Police on 03 471 4800.

This article first appeared in Issue 10, 2016.
Posted 10:48am Sunday 8th May 2016 by Joe Higham.