WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW
A teenage Russian exchange student had to relearn how to speak after he was bashed with a metal pole when three strangers confronted him in Innaloo last month.
Police have appealed for help to catch the brutal attackers as Alex spoke about the gutless confrontation that came without warning as he walked on a popular path near the Mitchell Freeway and Hertha Road on a Saturday afternoon last month.
The 16-year-old can remember being hit once in the head after refusing to hand over his belongings.
But doctors told him they believe he was struck three times, fracturing his skull and face. He needed 18 staples and five stitches and spent a month in hospital with speech and comprehension problems.
He is still recovering from his injuries.
“He hit me from behind, that was gutless,” Alex said.
“After the accident I don’t understand how he hit me three times (when) I’m pretty sure I fell over after one.
“I didn’t get how much evil, how much enmity a person would have to keep hitting with a metal pole another person in the head.”
Alex, who had been in Perth for about seven months before the July 26 attack, was walking to the Stirling train station on his way to a music lesson when he passed three men outside a home, one wielding a metal pole.
He said he was concentrating at looking at a map on his phone and did not think much of it but seconds later the armed man confronted him and demanded his possessions.
Stressed and worried, Alex said the thug struck him with the pole as he turned to see if the man’s two accomplices were standing behind him.
“I fell over, I was partly unconscious,” he said.
“I thought it wasn’t that serious at first, I thought it was just a cut.
“But doctors said there were major fractures in the skull.
“I woke in hospital and I had serious problems with speaking, with comprehending, with brain problems in general.
“I had problems with English, with even Russian to be honest.”
Mirrabooka Det-Sen. Const Justin Stern appealed for help to catch the attackers who caused injuries to the teenager that doctors initially considered life-threatening.
“It’s happened in broad daylight… a random, innocent victim has been attacked… this could have happened to anyone,” he said.
“I consider this a very callous and quite a cowardly attack on an innocent young man, a 16-year-old student from overseas.”
Det-Sen. Const Stern said he believed there would have been other people in the area who saw the trio or what had happened.
The attackers were described as dark-skinned men, believed to be aged 16 to 25.
At the time Alex was carrying a black backpack and wearing a light blue-grey top, dark coloured jeans and white Nike sneakers.
He said he was angry about what had happened but believed violent people could be found anywhere and the attack had not made him want to leave Australia.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.