Arborist hurt in tree fight

A man and an arborist have been left battered and bruised after they allegedly went head-to-head in a fight over a tree in Oakleigh South. The Oakleigh South man and the arborist are at the centre of a police investigation following an alleged punch-up at a southeast high school.

Andrew Head, 29, who has Autism, was left with a black eye and a 24-year-old arborist suffered a busted lip after the alleged incident which broke out on South Oakleigh Secondary College grounds.

Mr Head’s father, Garth Head, said a verbal altercation broke out between his family and a group of arborists after the workers began to trim the school’s trees, which hang over and provide shade for their Riley St property.

“Andy went over to the school to stand under the remaining branches to stop them … he planted those trees as a little boy,” Mr Head said.

A fight allegedly broke out between Mr Head, the 24-year-old and another worker, where they allegedly punched each other in the face for up to one minute.

The worker’s father and colleague, who witnessed the alleged incident, said the trees had to be pruned in order for gardeners to be able to mow the lawn underneath.

“He came into our work area and threatened to assault my son … we had no idea he was autistic,” the worker said.

“I told him to p*** off and my son put his hands up to stop him from getting to him (the son).”

A Victoria Police spokesman said an investigation was underway.

“Police were called to Riley St on 18 February about 4.30pm after reports that three men had been involved in an altercation that escalated to an assault,” he said. “Police spoke to a man in his 20s at the scene and the other parties involved had left before police arrived. At this stage no charges have been laid.”

Source: Herald Sun

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