'SCREAMING': Residents open up about alleged attack on dad
YELLING, flashing lights and the sound of banging metal had Toolooa residents fearing the worst for their neighbours on Saturday night.
At 9.40pm last night police and paramedics responded to a 000 call reporting a group of people fighting along John Dory Dr.
When they arrived, a Queensland Ambulance Service crew attended to 22-year-old father Dallas McGrath, the victim of an alleged assault.
Mr McGrath sustained a serious head injury and was taken to the Gladstone Hospital, where he remains in a stable condition in a medically induced coma, according to sister Jade Houghton.
Police will allege the group involved in the assault were known to each other and attacked Mr McGrath with a metal weapon at his sister's home.
"We all started going down there when we heard what was going on," a woman who wished to remain anonymous told The Observer.
"Jade (Mr McGrath's sister) was yelling and screaming 'He's dead, he's dead, call the ambulance'."
It is understood two young children who lived at the home were present as the violence unfolded.
A man living a few houses away today said he could hear "people carrying on and a very loud ruckus" when police cars raced past his house.
"I'd just come back from the Harbour Festival when the fight happened," he said.
"It was all dark so I couldn't see but I could hear someone had been seriously hurt.
"There were police cars everywhere."
Another person living in the area said he heard a man and woman yelling before hearing "a metal bar being smashed against metal".
"We could hear a woman yelling 'They killed him ... That's when the police turned up," he said.
A QPS spokeswoman said four men and one woman were assisting police with inquiries but no charges had been laid.
She said police had been unable to take a victim statement yet due to Mr McGrath's condition.
It is understood the alleged assault was related to the theft of Mr McGrath's sister's pet.
Courtney Hanson, who knows Mr McGrath through a mutual friend, told The Observer he was a "very bubbly person".
"(He) wants to make people smile as much as he can," she said.
The former Biloela State High School student is a railway construction worker and is the father of a three-year-old boy.
Ms Hanson said Mr McGrath had a strong work ethic and loved to go fishing and four-wheel-driving.
"He has some family in Gladstone but most of them live in the Gold Coast," she said.
Updates to follow.