World News

Australian wild party teenager arrested

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian police on Wednesday arrested and charged a teenager who became a controversial media star after a wild party at his parents’ house became a near riot, forcing police to call in a helicopter and the dog squad.

The 16-year-old, who cannot now be named, decided to throw a party while his parents were on holidays. He posted a notice on his MySpace site about the party and 500 people turned up to his suburban home in Melbourne on Saturday.

The party turned sour after revellers clashed with police called in by frightened neighbours. Party goers threw bottles at police cars until the arrival of reinforcements including a helicopter and the police dog squad.

Police on Wednesday laid charges against the teen, including creating a public nuisance and producing child pornography. Although his name has been widely published, he could not now be named under privacy laws for Australia’s children’s court.

Police told Australian Associated Press the teen had been bailed to appear in court in February, while a second boy was also being interviewed. Images of the widely-photographed teen were pixelated after his charging.

The unrepentant teenager has become a controversial media star since the party, with his exploits making it to global television networks, including the BBC and CNN.

He has been offered thousands of dollars to organise more teen parties, while police have been considering presenting him with a A$20,000 (9,034 pounds) bill for cost of the melee.

His Web site, which has attracted hundreds of comments, says he is a “swinger” and “indignant”, and that he remains in hiding with friends. The site jokingly offers to arrange parties for a fee with “a strippa”.

“For $20,000 (10,210 pounds) I’ll make you internationally famous by getting 500 idiots to attack police cars. Of course, you will have to pay $20,000 to clean up the mess,” the profanity-filled site says alongside photos of teenage girls.

“MySpace party boy is not sorry for having an awesome party.”

He appeared before the media wearing a fashion ski jacket, no shirt, low-slung trousers and trademark bright yellow sunglasses, and was on a local radio station on Wednesday when the host tried to remove his oversized eyewear.

He then ran down a fire escape pursued by cameras, before returning to complete the interview, for which he received A$750. He was later arrested near his home.

In the interview, the teen told his furious parents, whom he is yet to confront, that he was sorry, but was unsure if he ever wanted to return home after his exploits.

“I do sort of, but don’t know right now,” he said. Asked if he was just a suburban brat who couldn’t handle the truth, a nervous teenager simply said “Nuh”.

Station listeners who called the studio to speak to the boy were hostile, with one woman telling him he had no respect for anyone and a male caller warned him to “watch out”. Victorian state Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon this week said the teen needed to learn a lesson “one way or another”.


Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by David Fogarty