27 Dec 2013

Town helps abused German tourists

4:59 am on 27 December 2013

Police in Whakatane say the community has rallied to help two German tourists who were attacked as they slept in a tent near the town centre on Boxing Day morning.

The 18 year old man and 19 year old woman are being treated in hospital for injuries they received in the attack.

The police say the woman suffered facial and arm injuries including fractures, while her companion has bruising and lacerations and has lost some teeth.

Both have been able to speak directly with family back in Europe.

The police have recovered items they believe were used as weapons in the assault, though they are not releasing details.

They have spoken with three men and a woman in connection with the assault, and are still seeking a fifth person.

Meanwhile, they say they have received an overwhelming number of calls from people offering donations and accommodation for the couple.

In order to free up the police phone line, police have set up a special email for people offering support or assistance for the pair. The address is ebop.cib@police.govt.nz

The police say anyone who has information about the attack should contact them.

Inspector Sandra Venables says the tourists are likely to spend a few days in hospital.