Lower Hutt Police are trying to find two men after a young Canadian male tourist was found beaten, robbed and wandering in a dazed state on a Naenae street.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Levy, head of Lower Hutt CIB, says the 25-year-old Vancouver resident is now in Hutt Hospital with a fractured nose, broken ribs, punctured lung and badly bruised face, torso and thighs.
"He's still very groggy, has had some minor surgery, and may be released later today or tomorrow," Detective Senior Sergeant Levy says. "We believe he was pretty much beaten to a pulp, trussed up, blindfolded and then dumped on a street. It's certainly not the nicest of introductions to Wellington or the Hutt Valley."
The victim wants to personally contact his family before his name is released, although police have advised the Canadian High Commission.
Police believe the attack happened on Tuesday night somewhere in the Naenae area. A local resident found the tourist about 5am on Wednesday wandering in Norrie Grove, Naenae. He was dazed, bloody and in a battered state, wearing only a pair of jeans.
"The severity of the beating has meant that until now it's been very difficult for police to speak with him or for him to recall what happened."
From what police have been able to piece together, it appears the victim arrived in New Zealand in January and has spent the last few months travelling in the country. He hitchhiked from Auckland to Wellington on Monday, and stayed overnight somewhere in Wellington with the person who gave him the ride south.
On Tuesday he's made his way alone into the city and spent the afternoon visiting a few cafes and bars before leaving his backpack in a secure locker at Te Papa where police were later able to retrieve it.
At some point on Tuesday afternoon the victim met up with two men, now believed to be the offenders, in Courtenay Place and around 5pm the trio was seen on security camera at The Cue Room Bar and Pool Saloon in Courtenay Place.
"Around 6pm the victim left The Cue Room quite happily with the two men and the trio got into a grey coloured saloon car parked near the Westpac Bank in Courtenay Place," Detective Senior Sergeant Levy says. "The victim has told us that they drove to a house somewhere in Naenae.
"He's fallen asleep and when he woke up events turned nasty and he's been beaten by the two men. He was stripped of his shirt and denim jacket, robbed of some cash and property, had his feet trussed up with his own belt and then been forcibly bundled into the car.
"He's told us a pillowslip was placed over his head and he's then been driven and dumped on a roadside verge."
Detective Senior Sergeant Levy says it's not clear how long the victim lay dazed and possibly unconscious on the street before he came round and was able to free himself.
"This was a pretty frightening ordeal for the young man and we really need public help in finding those responsible."
Police want to know:
• the identity of the person who gave the victim a ride from Auckland to Wellington on Monday and who provided a bed for the victim on Monday night.
• the identity of the two male caucasian offenders. One is described as 25 to 30 years old, 6ft tall, with a tattoo on the top of his shaven head. The second is about 25 years, of slim to medium build, about 6ft and with dyed, dirty blond hair. His name may be Mark and he is the one pictured on the left in the attached security camera photo taken from The Cue Room. The second offender is pictured on the right.
• the identity of two women who were seen talking with the victim and the two offenders in The Cue Room, or anyone else who saw the men and the victim in the Courtenay Place area.
• the identity and location of the grey car used to transport the trio to the Naenae area
• information about the location of the Naenae house visited by the victim and where the beaten took place
• information from people who saw a car and occupants acting suspiciously in the Patricia Grove area of Naenae where the victim was dumped, or in the adjacent Norrie Grove area.
People with information are asked to call Lower Hutt Police on 0800 TIP OFF or call Lower Hutt Police Station on 04 560 2600.
Media contact: Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Levy, Lower Hutt CIB,
telephone: 04 560 2600