Radio host Kate Langbroek has demanded answers over the “degradation” of St Kilda after her family was subjected to what she described as a “crazed, violent, terrifying attack”.
On air on Tuesday, Langbroek told listeners the attack, which left the 52-year-old bruised, began when her babysitter left her family’s home about midnight on Friday.
She said she was approached by a man who began swearing at her and trying to get into her car, prompting her to run back to the house.
With the babysitter back inside, Langbroek and her husband Peter went outside to see what was happening, and saw the man on the opposite side of the road.
“He starts yelling, he turns around and sees us,” Langbroek said.
“I look at Peter, I go: ‘Shut the gate’, but he’s as quick as insanity. He’s suddenly right there upon us and he’s yelling full on.
“I try to shut the gate [but] he pushes the gate open on me.
“Peter yells out: ‘Shut the gate’ [but] I can’t shut the gate. He’s outside the gate trying to pull it shut – he’s on the outside with the madman.”
Following a crazed, violent, terrifying attack on our family home on Friday night, I would like to speak with @MartinFoleyMP about his plans to stop the degradation of St Kilda hill. Thank you.
— kate langbroek (@katelangbroek) March 6, 2018
Langbroek then realised the front door of their house, where her children and their babysitter were inside, was still open.
“I run inside, slam the door, and praise be I put my leg up against the door to brace it,” she said.
“Next minute – thump – he tries to kick the door in. Madman’s at the front door.”
Langbroek and her husband were eventually able to phone police, bringing a number of officers to the scene, and a man was arrested over the incident.
‘Decent citizens’ are vulnerable
The radio star on Tuesday praised police officers but took to Twitter, asking Victorian Housing Minister Martin Foley to contact her to talk about “his plans to stop the degradation of St Kilda hill”.
St Kilda is home to the notorious Gatwick Hotel, a rooming house which until its closure last year provided shelter to some of the city’s poorest people since the 1950s, but caused concerns about violence and drug use.
Following its closure there were fears some of its residents would have nowhere to go.
Discussing the Gatwick Hotel’s closure last year, Mr Foley said it would bring change to St Kilda.
“The Gatwick has long passed its time as a place that housed vulnerable people in safe and appropriate circumstances,” he said in March 2017.
“It is not a place that is fit for those residents.
“With much of Fitzroy St and surrounds being held back by the Gatwick, we can now look forward to working with traders, council and the community to turn a corner in the area’s future.”
In a follow-up tweet on Wednesday that included a photo of her bruised arm, Ms Langbroek thanked Mr Foley for calling her, but demanded he take action in the suburb, noting St Kilda’s vulnerable people were in fact its “decent citizens”.
“This is the bruise I sustained trying to keep that ‘vulnerable’ resident from kicking our front door in on Friday night. Children inside,” she wrote.
“The real vulnerable are the decent citizens of St Kilda. We await your action.”
In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Foley said what happened to Langbroek was “completely unacceptable”.
“Our thoughts go out to her and her family,” he said.
“I spoke to Ms Langbroek yesterday, and I’m pleased that an arrest has been made and this matter is now before the courts.”