| 08.10,19. 01:04 AM |
Paramedic bashed on charity bike ride says he doesn't want teenage attackers charged
Photo: Daniel Mansbridge suffered a fractured eye socket and will need surgery. (Supplied: Daniel Mansbridge)
Photo: Daniel Mansbridge says he doesn't want his attackers charged. (ABC Illawarra: Kelly Fuller)
Off-duty paramedic Daniel Mansbridge was seven kilometres into a 1,000-kilometre charity ride for children's cancer when he was knocked off his bicycle and bashed by a group of teenagers on the New South Wales south coast.
The ambulance officer with 16 years' experience was riding on the Windang Bridge, south of Wollongong, when a teenager pushed him off his bike just after 11:00am on Friday.
Mr Mansbridge said he then approached the teenager to tell him how silly his actions were and followed him down some stairs under the bridge.
"His other two bigger mates saw me as a threat or something and started to punch me out, and when they finished I said to them I just wanted to have a word."
He suffered bruising across his face and a fracture under his eye that will require surgery.
'I am not going to hit kids'
Mr Mansbridge said he could not understand what was happening,
"Bloody hell this isn't good — they were just kids. I was shocked, I didn't know what to do. I was just setting out for a big long ride and the next thing I know I was in the hospital."
He believed his attackers were also in shock.
"Afterwards, they actually went and got my bike and brought my bike down and made sure I was OK.
"They said they were sorry and felt bad and helped me gather my things."
It was very confusing, he said.
"I think once I said to them I just want to have a chat about how silly it was, they might have realised they'd gone too far.
"I think, to be honest, it started off with a kid showing off to his mates and this is the consequence."
Mr Mansbridge said he chose not to retaliate.
"They were kids. I am not going to hit kids, no way."
Forgiveness and tolerance
He also does not want his attackers charged.
"We all make mistakes ... we can learn a lesson and just be a bit more tolerant of people and aware of the consequences of your actions."
Chief Inspector Terry Morrow from the NSW Ambulance Service said the attack was very distressing.
"We are really proud of Daniel and other people who are in our service, out there riding for the community to raise money for kids with cancer and these sort of things," he said.
"All of a sudden to have one of our officers randomly hit on his bike trying to do the right thing, to receive the injuries that he has sustained, we are appalled by the whole situation."
Police are appealing for witnesses to contact Lake Illawarra Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Chief Inspector Brian Pedersen said it was a disgraceful attack.
"We work extremely closely with the ambulance and the fire brigade, and to have another emergency service worker injured is very, very disheartening."
"We are out there trying to serve the public and help the public and then we have these sort of incidents occurring."