Mother's account: armed attack at out-of-control party
I KNEW something wasn't right the moment I turned the corner.
What should have been a quiet suburban street was swarming with teenagers who were moving quickly away from the very spot I was heading.
I was arriving in the Marcoola street to pick up my teenage daughter and her friends after a State of Origin get-together.
I had allowed her to attend because it was school holidays and the gathering was to have parental supervision.
I scanned through the crowd looking for my daughter and her friends.
I spotted one of the kids and a few others who knew me and called out to them.
They ran towards me and frantically scrambled into the car, asking if they could get a ride home and rambling about "stuff going down".
I could see their concern, so I told them to jump in.
Worried for my daughter and her friends, I drove further up the street.
I saw them rushing towards me and stopped the car.
They came to the passenger side and opened the doors.
Then I noticed a dark shape coming out of the shadows towards me and realised it was a man swinging what looked like a big black bat.
Do you believe teenage parties are out of control too often on the Coast?
This poll ended on 31 July 2015.
Yes, kids have no respect
No, not all teenage parties turn sour
Never used to be a problem back in my day
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
He was screaming something I couldn't make out because my window was closed.
I screamed frantically at the kids as he approached quickly with the bat raised.
"Get in the car!" I screamed.
They were busy worrying about space in my small car and hadn't noticed him on the opposite side.
I screamed again "just get in!" as he lunged at my door with the bat raised.
As the last door closed - one of the kids scrambling in through the rear hatch - our attacker swung the bat and pulled the back passenger door open.
The girls were screaming and I heard the door slam close, then thuds on the car as the club struck it.
Terrified and with a car full of screaming teenagers, I drove 200 metres around the corner before I was game to pull over.
I didn't want to stop but I needed to check on the kids.
Another carload of bewildered and shaken teenagers was stopped nearby.
A smashed door handle and large dent in my car showed where at least two of the blows had landed.
I knew my car was overloaded but I also knew I needed to get the kids to safety, as it was dark and we had no idea where the man had gone.
It was 11pm by the time I dropped the shaken kids at their homes and my daughter and I had made our way back to ours.
We were badly shaken but finally felt safe in our own home.
I contacted police who advised me to go into the station and make a statement the next morning.
Finally I was able to sit for a few minutes, catch my breath and reflect on how lucky we had been.
I still don't understand why I was attacked or know the identity of our attacker.
I do know that if I hadn't arrived when I did, it might have been my daughter and her friends he hit, rather than my car.
For that bit of luck, I feel very fortunate.
Erica Henderson is the reporter for Coolum and North Shore News.