A MAN was beaten with fishing rods and his own block of wood during an all-in brawl at Echuca’s Coles carpark on Wednesday afternoon.
The fight erupted about 4.30pm, with one witness calling it ‘‘absolute mayhem’’.
Another witness said she saw a ‘‘car doing burn-outs and driving over the gutter’’ and a man outside Coles with ‘‘blood pouring down his face’’.
Five people are being interviewed by police, with charges expected to be laid in coming days.
Detective Senior Constable Darren Dean of Echuca Criminal Investigation Unit said two men, aged 20 and 24, and a 22-year-old woman, all from Kyabram, were using the public phone box outside Coles after a drunken fishing trip.
‘‘While one of them was on the phone, the other two were leaning against and sitting on top of the canopy of a ute, not associated with them, and banging on the walls of the phone box,’’ he said.
‘‘A woman came over and told them to stop banging on the walls and to get off the ute when they started verbally abusing her.’’
Upon seeing this, the woman’s 46-year-old partner grabbed a piece of wood from his car and approached the trio.
‘‘He basically brought a piece of wood to a gun fight and came off second best,’’ Det. Snr Constable Dean said.
Realising he was outnumbered, the man dropped the wood and ran off, with the trio chasing him before ‘‘belting him in the head’’ with the wood and their fishing rods, he said.
The Echuca man suffered lacerations to his head, which required stitches, and was taken to Echuca hospital in a stable condition.
A witness, who only wants to be known as Andrew, said he saw about 15 people involved and two cars, one of which was a F250 ute, driving erratically in the carpark and along Hare St, that appeared to be chasing people.
‘‘It was so dangerous as there were kids everywhere and people doing their grocery shopping,’’ he said.
‘‘The fight continued down Hare St with people chasing others with metal poles and bats, and with some people coming out of a house there to join in.
‘‘People were going berserk. And there were a lot of women involved too.
‘‘What has this town become?’’
Det. Snr Constable Dean said police were attempting to gather all witness accounts, but was hoping to speak to someone who had videoed the brawl.
‘‘We would like that person to make themselves known to police,’’ he said.
‘‘The video will be of great value to us.’’
Despite witnesses stating up to 15 people were involved, Det. Snr Constable Dean said there were five major players, but other people may have tried to break up the fight.
‘‘There were a lot of bystanders, so from a distance it may have looked like there were a lot of other people involved,’’ he said.
‘‘It would have been frightening for people to see.’’
He said alcohol was a contributing factor to the fracas, which was still being investigated.
‘‘Formal statements from the five people haven’t been taken yet, but once that’s done we will work through it,’’ he said.
‘‘Others will be spoken to in due course.’’
Anyone who videoed or has information about the brawl is urged to contact Echuca police on 54831500 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.