14yo coward-punched at Warrawong

Coward punch victim Jaicob Lamelza.
Coward punch victim Jaicob Lamelza.

The mother of a 14-year-old boy who was coward punched after leaving the cinemas at Westfield Warrawong on Friday has spoken of her heartache over the brazen attack.

Debbie Martiska did not think twice about letting her son Jaicob Lamelza celebrate his mate's 14th birthday with pizza and a trip to the movies.

It was a decision that could have ended with frightening consequences, after the teen was randomly attacked by another youth as he left the cinemas with his mates and a parent at about 9pm.

"[A group] walked past and the girls said hello to my son and the boys he was with, and not long after that one of the boys came more or less running towards them and punched my son in the head," Ms Martiska said.

"He king hit my son - he didn't know what was going on, he just turned around and this boy punched him in the head."

Jaicob had been planning to cap off his mate's birthday celebrations with an ice-cream at the McDonald's across the road when the unknown youth struck.

Luckily, the teen only suffered a cut to his cheek and broken tooth as a result.

Ms Martiska, who was shaken by the incident, said the outcome could have been far worse.

"Imagine if he did fall over and hit his head. You see it on the news all the time, idiots doing that sort of stuff ... he could've taken my son's life," she said.

"I got the phone call and I felt sick. The night it happened I was too scared to fall asleep in case he didn't wake up."

The Warilla mother said she had heard through friends and families of other incidents involving youths attacking people in the area.

She said the thug in question should face a harsh penalty when he is arrested, given the potentially fatal nature of the crime.

"I just hope [the courts] don't let it slide because he needs to be taught a lesson. He needs more than just a slap on the wrist, he needs to know what he's doing is wrong," she said.

John Boon was the parent chaperoning Jaicob and his group of mates when the coward punch occurred.

He said the other group of boys had yelled abuse at them after they had walked past, but the attack had come "completely out of the blue".

"It was a pretty reckless act," Mr Boon said. "You hear about these one-hit punches and that was exactly what it was. The poor kid didn't even see it coming."

The offender also threatened to hit Mr Boon, a boxing instructor, and hurled death threats at the boys.

"He kept coming forward to me and I kept stepping backwards. I was trying to talk the situation down," he said. "I never would've thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be put in that situation, that I'd be attacked by a kid.

"It's just sad something like this could happen to such a good bunch of kids."

Police, ambulance paramedics and Westfield Warrawong security responded to the incident.

Police are continuing their investigations.


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