In Australia, Not Owning A Smartphone Gets You Punched In The Face

Turns out that owning a dumbphone is more hazardous to your health than previously reported. NSW Police yesterday reported an incident in which a man was allegedly punched in the face before being kicked repeatedly by two youths who refused to steal his phone after finding out it wasn't a smartphone.

Face punch image via Shutterstock

NSW Police say that the 31-year old man was approached in the Sydney suburb of Redfern over the weekend by a youth who reportedly asked for the time before demanding the phone from the man. The man then reportedly offered the phone to the alleged assailant but copped a fist to the face when they refused to take his dumbphone.

A man has been attacked and robbed by a group of teenagers after they attempted to steal his mobile phone in Redfern last night.
About 9:25pm, Saturday 16 March 2013, a 31-year-old man was walking through Redfern Park, near the fountain, when he was approached by a boy who asked him the time.
The boy demanded his mobile phone but when he discovered it was not a smart phone he declined taking it and punched the man in the face.
The man tried to run away but was grabbed from behind by another boy who assaulted him and removed his backpack.
He fell to the ground where the two boys continued to assault him by kicking him a number of times.
They then rummaged through his backpack and stole a sunglasses case before running off through the park towards Chalmers Street with four other males.
The injured man ran to Cleveland Street and called police who attended the scene but were unable to locate the group of boys. He was treated at the scene by paramedics and taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for treatment of facial injuries.
Redfern Detectives are investigating the robbery and are looking for the six males.

Buy a smartphone for your own good. [NSW Police]



    So the 31 year old man could not beat up a 'boy'?

    He should have taught the 'boy' a lesson.

      problem is, in this messed up world the 'Man' probably would have been up for assault if he had defended himself. the 'boy's' would have gotten off scott free and laughed as they walked out of the court.

      I always carry 2 phones with me, dodgy work BB and my S2, if i ever got "mugged" i'd fully give up the dodgy work phone.

      Last edited 18/03/13 11:31 am

      Read the article. It said a group assaulted the 31yo not just one person.

      When it happens to you enjoy the brown undie experience.

      Da f*#k are you talking about? What difference does it make if it was a kid or not? Plus there was two of the little F*#kers. I personally probably would have given them some curry, but you can't expect everyone to be comfortable with, or capable of fighting them off!!

        Agreed. I'd have no problem giving 'em what for, but most people will try to avoid confrontation at all costs. You can't expect someone with no fight experience to suddenly try and fend off a group of attackers. If they don't know what they're doing, it will antagonise and make matters worse.

          @chestbrah @jazzthecameraguy
          Did you not read the comment all the way through or something?
          I did not in any way advocate violence, infact I admonished "wsdk_ii" for suggesting that all people should do it! That doesn't mean that I personally would just stand there and get assaulted... hence the "give them some curry" part of the comment! In other words, if you are capable of defending yourself, then do so!

            Probably didn't follow it because it had the ramblings of an internet rage attack.

            In short, what you said made no sense.


                "I personally probably would have given them some curry, but you can't expect everyone to be comfortable with, or capable of fighting them off!!"

                What exactly does this mean?

                  I feel capable of defending myself!
                  Not everyone is!

                Dont worry bud, i got a chuckle from it, never heard someone use the term "curry" in that context but i like it.
                Some people just cant look away from the literal.

                Last edited 18/03/13 5:38 pm

            Umm.. Yes, I DID read your comment, that's why I agreed with it pretty much in it's entirety. Hence why I started my comment with the word "agreed", then stated my opinion on why I agree with you.

              Erm.. Yeah not sure what happened there, maybe confused your comment with someone else. Sorry bout that. Wanna kiss and make up.. :)

      Until you realised this 'boy' pulls a pistol on you.

      The unfortunate thing is he is lucky he got away with just cuts and bruises. Crims and junkies are far more dangerous than some people think sometimes..

      A "boy" could be anyone who has the appearance of looking 19 years old or younger. Plus there were more than one of them.

      Most 31 year olds would be screwed up against one relatively fit late teenager, let alone multiple.

    I'd say he would have got punched in the face either way.

    Ahh the bogan youth of today... such a special class of asshole...!

    Criminals are getting more and more violent, so I suspect they would have beaten him up regardless of whether or not he had a smart phone for them to take. It wouldn't matter how cooperative a victim is or how much cash, etc, they give them, these little shits would still beat them up simply because they can.

      Well that's just untrue, you sound like you watch ACA or TT and think Gen Y is a terrible generation... None of that is true. Crime rates have been falling every year for the last couple of decades.

        Which type of crime is dropping? I wouldn't mind seeing a breakdown of those statistics. Somehow I doubt violent muggings have gone down or violence in general either. Nearly every day you see drunken asshats jamming broken glass or king hitting some poor slob. At a footy game yesterday a bloke king hit a dude for no apparent reason at all?

          Just like 20 years ago you probably would have seen the same thing or even more.

          It's the internet, it has to be true. Don't question it!


          "Fraud is up, drive-by shooting incidents have stabilized and there have been significant reductions in the recorded incidence of non-domestic assault, unarmed robbery, theft offences and malicious damage to property"

          You're welcome.

            @chestbrah @sparhawk0
            I don't want to seem overly critical here but those figures are awfully area specific! However, even if violent crime is dropping (which I personally doubt). The sheer bloody minded aggression of it is getting worse. Old women raped, old people bashed in their own home, glassing and unprovoked assault are but some of the things I think are getting worse.

              oh you personally doubt it, I'm going to tell the bureau of statistics to quit their jobs.... brb. You need to stop thinking that because it's on the news that it's worse than it used to be.


              I wouldn't mind seeing a breakdown of those statistics. Somehow I doubt violent muggings have gone down or violence in general either.

              So now that you've seen a breakdown of statistics, the statistics are wrong? Well, clearly you've made up your mind, and little things like facts and evidence and empirical data are unnecessary.

              I'll try one more time, because I like being right and bashing my head against a brick wall. Here's a link to the Australian Institute of Criminology's time-based study of trends in violent crime from 1989-2005:


              Their conclusion:

              The public's perception is that violence is increasing, but trends in violent crime reported to police since the early 1990s reveal a mixed story. Homicide has decreased by nine percent since 1990 and armed robbery by one-third since 2001, but recorded assaults and sexual assaults have both increased steadily in the past 10 years by over 40 percent and 20 percent respectively. The rate of aggravated assault appears to have contributed to the marked rise in recorded assault, and for both assault and sexual assault the rate of increase was greater for children aged under 15 years, with increases almost double that of the older age group. Neither population changes among young adult males nor rates of offending seem to explain the trends in recorded violent crime, and indicators of change in reporting to police provide only a partial explanation. Based on self-reported victimisation and reporting to police, it would seem increased reporting of assault is somewhat responsible for the rise in recorded assault rates against adult victims. However, victimisation survey data suggest there has been little change in rates of sexual assault, although reporting to police by women seems to have increased.

    This article reminds me of a burglary that happened to friend of mine. Someone broke into her house only to steal music CDs which the burglar seemed to like and left the ones that were not to his taste in the rack.

    If you:

    - Reduce the sentences given for violent crime.

    - Make jail an 'OK' place rather than 'terrible' place to be.

    - Reduce funding for community projects and sporting clubs.

    - Cut funding to education.

    - Reduce the punishment for reoffending.

    ...of course violent crimes are going to be more severe and frequent.

      Agree with this, I mean we can't let jail be a complete and total hell hole but it definitely shouldn't be good enough to make people want to be locked up because it's better than their current life.

      Education is the most important thing when it comes to stopping crime, but the governments are idiots.

      I would've looked at them and said in my best Keanu Reeves voice "I know kung fu"

        I Am Yu Law, I am nobodies Bitch.... You are all mine!

    Completely reprehensible, but Redfern Park at 9:25pm on a Sunday? I'd think twice about walking through there at 9:25am on a weekday.

    I hope they keep old phone books aside for little turds like this, but someone needs to talk to this guy about acceptable risk.

    if you are approach by a group of people who want to harm you, use all your power to take one of them as your hostage. If they are still approaching beat the hostage face several time to show you are not kidding. Ask them to run and if they refuse beat the hostage face again. keep counting and every 2 count beat the hostage face. This method is 75% works.
    This sound harsh but this is a self defend method I used since high school.
    Ah forgot to mention I used to live in rough and racist environment and by nature learning self defend to survive.
    FYI: I am not a big guy either.

      best Defence is a good offence, act like a crazy person, you wanna hit me? Dont hit me, I'll Hit me! im Crazy!

      or just tyson it, grab the first one and bite his ear off.

      Last edited 18/03/13 5:43 pm

    I'd just smash the phone in front of them, or make them fetch it like a dog on a busy road. If you have a job you can always save a by another phone.

    Does anyone know if the person is a gizmodo reader? I got jumped in walking distance from redfern by two teenagers. They first asked for the time, then 2 minutes later ran up behind me and tried to get me to the ground. I got away, if the victim is a gizmodo reader then it would great if he could contact, I filed a brief police report 2 weeks ago when in happened.

    The thugs would have to be incredibly stupid to want to steal a smartphone anyway, as they are easily trackable. One could pinpoint the exact loction of the phone from any computer and then lead the police directly to it.

    If it was an older Nokia brick phone, he could have thrown it at them. There would have been a fatality for sure, but the phone would have survived.

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