Families picnicking in Melbourne park allegedly ‘viciously assaulted’

Two families picnicking in a Melbourne park have spoken of their terror after allegedly being "viciously assaulted" by another group with children yesterday afternoon.

Victim Jacquelyn, her friend, and their two 12-year-old daughters were enjoying the sunshine at Slater Reserve on Grosvenor Street in Blackburn North when they were confronted by the group about 4.30pm.

A man and a woman, along with five children believed to be aged between eight and 15, allegedly began swearing at the 12-year-old girls and removing QR codes from the park fence.

Jacquelyn asked them to stop, but the group allegedly began verbally abusing her.

Her friend tried to step in, but she was set upon by one of the young girls of the group, who allegedly began "swiping" at her, trying to remove her face mask and kicking her.

Jacquelyn was then allegedly placed into a headlock and dragged to the ground by a woman, before being kicked by other members of the group.

"They were trying to rip our masks off telling us we were afraid of a cold … and trying to cough on us," she said.

"They should be ashamed – they can have their views but they don't need to force them … or attack people that share different views."

Jacquelyn said her 12-year-old daughter was smart enough to call the police, while two Good Samaritans came to their rescue.

But the two men were allegedly threatened by a man, who set off a dog onto them.

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Alex Kimberley was one of the onlookers who tried to help before he was bitten by the dog.

"He walked behind me and the next thing I know the dog's latched onto my arm," he said.

"The fear in her eyes was full-on … I couldn't believe it."

The offenders then fled the scene and were last seen heading towards the vicinity of Grosvenor Street and Rialton Avenue.

The two 12-year-old girls were not physically injured during the incident, but Jacquelyn said the girls were too frightened to sleep last night.

An ambulance attended the scene and treated the women for their injuries.

"It's just erupted into a vicious assault on these two ladies and utilising a dog to attack two males who have tried to help," Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Graham Ross said.

Investigators have released images of the two adults wanted in relation to the incident.

The man is perceived to be Caucasian in appearance and was wearing black tracksuit pants with distinctive stripes on the side, a black t-shirt and runners.

He had a sleeve tattoo on his left arm and a bald head with a goatee.

The woman is described as Caucasian and was wearing a long black jacket and black pants.

She had long dark hair and was aged in her 30s or 40s.

Police have also appealed for any witnesses or anyone who may have been in the park or surrounding area at the time to contact police.

Anyone with information or footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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