Africans attack motorists in Carlton North,21985,22698351-661,00.html

Terrifying ordeal: Joy Bennett, 21, and Josh Winnell, 24, were attacked by a gang and had rocks thrown at their car in Carlton yesterday. Picture: Dan O'Brien.

November 04, 2007 12:00am

A GANG of African youths has attacked motorists in what police suspect was an attempted carjacking.

Peak-hour drivers cowered in their cars on a Carlton North street as a driver, her male passenger and another motorist were set upon.

Joy Bennett, 21, was waiting at lights in Rathdowne St when the gang began battering her late model Mitsubishi sedan with bricks, smashing its front and rear windscreens.

The gang punched Ms Bennett's passenger, Josh Winnell, through his open window and threw a rock through another window.

The mob also turned on a driver who had pulled over to use his mobile phone.

A violent attack on a car by a group of African men in Melbourne's inner city has left a young female driver and her male passenger distraught and shaken.

Joy Bennett, 21, who lives in Melbourne's outer east, said she felt terrified when about 10 African men surrounded the car as she waited to turn at a Carlton intersection about 6.45pm (AEDT) on Friday.

It was the first of two attacks at the corner of Rathdowne Street and Alexandra Parade in 10 minutes.

"I was terrified," a tearful Ms Bennett told reporters in Melbourne.

"I had absolutely no idea what was happening. I didn't know what they wanted. This doesn't happen, not in real life," she said ...

There was no evidence the group of African men was a gang, Det Sen Const Midgley said.

"There's nothing to indicate it's a gang. Carlton has a large African community and it appears to be a random attack," he said.