A wild brawl that saw a handful of teens arrested in Huskisson and smashed ATMs at Kiama marred the Australia Day long weekend.
Police on the South Coast are investigating a brawl that erupted after the fireworks at the popular Huskisson Carnival on Australia Day.
Families began scrambling to protect their children as the brawl, which erupted in a car park at 10pm on Friday, spilled out into the carnival itself.
As many as 12 police vehicles rushed to the scene of the punch-up, which witnesses said involved as many as 75 people, including teenagers and older people.
One witness said the brawlers were throwing glass bottles and rocks at each other in the car park before continuing to fight inside the carnival grounds.
Once inside the carnival, the brawlers allegedly bashed into the back of the portable toilets while small children were inside screaming and then fought their way through one of the amusement rides.
Another witness said her 10-year-old child saw a man with blood all over him next to the front entry.
“I just got my kids and we hightailed it back into town,” the witness said.
Some festivalgoers were scared to return to the car park and get their cars for fear of being injured in the melee.
It is believed alcohol was a factor in the brawl.
Shoalhaven police said they were able to calm hostilities when they arrived at the carnival.
Five teenagers were arrested at the carnival and taken to Nowra police station.
They have since been released into the care of their parents while the police investigation continues.
In Kiama on the night of Australia Day, a 44-year-old was charged over the alleged destruction of six ATMs in Manning and Terralong streets.
Lake Illawarra police were called and tracked down the alleged offender.
He was charged with malicious damage and will appear at Wollongong Local Court on March 7.