Gang links investigated after riot police attacked with rocks trying to shut down Airbnb party

Police are investigating links to a gang blamed for vandalising homes across western Melbourne after heavily armed riot police battled rock-throwing youths when a party at a rented Airbnb house got out of control.

Officers were called to the home at Attunga Grove in Werribee at 3.30am on Wednesday but were forced to retreat when partygoers began throwing rocks at them.

The Public Order Response Team and the heavily armed Critical Incident Response Team were then called in to break up the party.

Heavily armed riot police had to be called in to break up a Werribee party after the first officers to arrive at the Airbnb house were pelted with rocks. Source: 7 News
Heavily armed riot police had to be called in to break up a Werribee party after the first officers to arrive at the Airbnb house were pelted with rocks. Source: 7 News
The rented home was damaged during the out-of-control party. Source: 7 Newssize=O
The rented home was damaged during the out-of-control party. Source: 7 Newssize=O
Walls and furniture were damaged inside the home. Source: 7 News
Walls and furniture were damaged inside the home. Source: 7 News

One officer suffered a minor elbow injury during the incident, while the home was extensively damaged and vehicles in the rock-strewn street were left with shattered windshields.

The rented home's windows were smashed while its walls were riddled with holes and splashed with liquids. Broken furniture littered the house.

Windows were broken, walls were damaged, and furniture and items strewn across the house. Source: 7 News
Windows were broken, walls were damaged, and furniture and items strewn across the house. Source: 7 News

Police are investigating links to a gang calling itself "Menace to Society" after graffiti was left inside the home with the letters "MTS" written on furniture. It is believed gang members gatecrashed the party at the rented home.

The gang has been linked to similar incidents at Altona, Williams Landing, as well as the Docklands in past week.

Source: AAP
Source: AAP

The street was covered with rocks and what appeared to be broken wooden fence palings, while car windows were shattered, including a police vehicle.

"The whole street was full of rocks in the garden and they just kept throwing them and it escalated so quickly," nearby resident Amanda told 3AW on Wednesday.

Police were forced to retreat when partygoers began throwing rocks at them. Source: 7 News
Police were forced to retreat when partygoers began throwing rocks at them. Source: 7 News

Another neighbour "Rob" told the radio station of the carnage that remained following the back-and-forth battle between police and the riotous youths.

“I saw the aftermath. It looked like a war zone,” he said.

"As soon as police managed to get the street quiet they [the gatecrashers] would come back for more."

Inspector Martin Allison said police were initially called to the address responding to "a noisy party".

Vehicles, including a police car, parked in the street were extensively damaged. Source: 7 News
Vehicles, including a police car, parked in the street were extensively damaged. Source: 7 News

"The reports, when the police arrived, were there were two females that had been assaulted. With that, we entered the house to try and protect life," he told reporters on Wednesday.
No one was arrested at the scene early Wednesday morning, but police say they are investigating criminal damage to the home and those found responsible would be held accountable.

"They will be held accountable for their behaviour, they will be held to account for their conduct inside the house and onto the street," Insp Allison said.

"Safety was our first and foremost consideration. An investigation has been launched and we are hopeful and hopeful and optimistic people will be arrested as a result of it."

Insp Allison said property owners need to be vigilant about who they rent their properties to, and said to ask for multiple forms of ID to ensure they can track anyone who damaged their property.

An Airbnb spokesperson said the online marketplace and hospitality service had "zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour".

No one was arrested at the scene, but police are investigating and say those responsible will be held accountable. Source: 7 News
No one was arrested at the scene, but police are investigating and say those responsible will be held accountable. Source: 7 News

"We have permanently banned these individuals from our platform and are fully supporting our host.

"Our team has also reached out to local law enforcement to offer our assistance with their investigation. We hope justice is served quickly," the company said in a statement.

The spokesperson said there has been more than 260 million Airbnb bookings worldwide, and "negative incidents" like the scenes at Werribee Wednesday morning were "incredibly rare".

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

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