Gang attacks ‘out of control’

By Esther Lauaki

The mother of a 19-year-old who has twice been bashed says gang violence in Wyndham is “out of control”.

Jayden D’Abaco, who has autism, was on a night out celebrating a footy win with his Wyndham Suns teammates on August 24 when he said he was chased down and beaten by up to eight men on Watton Street about 10.45pm.

The attack left him with a fractured cheekbone, bruising to his body and throat and a cut to his head.

Police are searching for the offenders, described as African Australian in appearance and aged in their 20s.

It was the second time Jayden had been set upon following a disturbingly similar attack on a Tarneit bus in 2017.

Jayden’s mum Tess D’Abaco said her son had “shut down” since the recent incident.

“It took a lot of work to get him back where he is now after the first attack on the bus two years ago,” Mrs D’Abaco told

Star Weekly.

“He’s always wanted independence … but that was shattered.

“Jayden is right back to shutting down again.”

She said the state government was failing to protect the public from violent youth gangs.

“These things should not be happening,” Mrs D’Abaco said.

“If these thugs get caught, they need to be made an example of to stop this from happening again to someone else.”

Her husband Frank staged a protest at Spring Street last week against what the D’Abaco family said was the government’s inaction on gang crime.

“[Premier] Daniel Andrews keeps saying that we don’t have a gang problem,” Mrs D’Abaco said. “There’s been attack after attack here in Werribee … You can’t tell me that there’s no gang problem in Wyndham.”

State Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien also called for the government to address violent youth crime across Melbourne.

Senior Sergeant Samantha Ryan said the attack was spontaneous and “abhorrent”.

“There is no excuse for this type of behaviour,” she said. “We want to reassure the community that it is safe and members should be able to walk around the area.”