‘I woke up in an ambulance’: Bashed hotel managers speak out
JOHN and Noutekh Whitfield thought they had seen it all, managing a hotel in the dangerous streets of Port Moresby.
But the couple, who only took over the Koala Apartments in Cairns North six months ago, have been left shaken after allegedly being attacked by a young man they confronted in one of their rooms.
The 19-year-old and several others were allegedly smuggled into the McLeod St complex by a guest early on Tuesday morning to join a drunken gathering that had been raging all night, disturbing the other residents - many of whom are Cairns Hospital patients.
Mr Whitfield, 62, said they became aware two people were still in the room about 2pm, long after check out time.
"I went out to check the room shortly after and this punk and his girlfriend were in there," he said.
"He got a little bit stroppy (when asked to leave), started using some fruity language.
"I just remember waking up in an ambulance."
It is alleged the man, a 19-year-old from Lockhart River, struck Mr Whitfield in the face, causing him to fall back and hit his head on the ground and knocking him unconscious.
Mrs Whitfield said she ran to assist her husband, trying to revive him, before the man allegedly grabbed his bag, kicked her in the face and fled.
He was arrested a short time later and has subsequently been charged with serious assault, common assault and trespass, and is expected to appear in Cairns Magistrates Court on September 2.
Mr Whitfield was nursing a sore head and tenderness around his ribcage on Wednesday, while his wife had facial swelling.
She said finding her husband unconscious on the ground was a shock.
"I can't believe that happened to us. Terrible," she said.
"Before he left he kicked my face … but I just don't care about myself, I just care about him (John)."
Originally published as 'I woke up in an ambulance': Bashed hotel managers speak out