4 injured in baseball bat attack

Female lecturer target of ANU baseball bat attack

UPDATE: POLICE have lauded ANU students for intervening when a male student suddenly started attacking a female lecturer with a baseball bat.

Four people were injured in the incident, and the alleged attacker, who has been described as an 18-year-old Caucasian male, is now in police custody.

ACT Police said they had not ruled anything out and forensic investigators are at the scene, where they are planinng to interview a large number of witnesses.

ANU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Marnie Hughes-Warrington said the students showed "incredible bravery to protect the lecturer".

"All indications are at this stage is that it is an isolated incident," she said.

"The student stood up at the back of the classroom and approached the lecturer, and other students intervened, and that is how the injuries occurred."

The university released a statement saying a student entered an ANU tutorial room near the Copland Lecture Theatre and assaulted four students around 9.15am.

The students were taking a class in statistics at the time.

Police activity at Copeland GO32 classroom at ANU where the assault took place.
Police activity at Copeland GO32 classroom at ANU where the assault took place. Ray Strange

Early reports suggested the attacks were random in nature, but ANU student newspaper Woroni reported that the man "appeared to attack students of Asian appearance".

ACT Policing's deputy chief police officer Ben Cartwright said the injuries sustained were "not life threatening but serious". He also said some of the injured students were Asian.

"One of the students took the baseball bat from the student and ran away," he said.

"The students were able to alert campus security to the incident, who restrained the attacker until police arrived."

A statement from the ANU media office said that there was "no indication of motive".

Police activity at Copeland GO32 classroom at ANU Canberra where an assault took place.
Police activity at Copeland GO32 classroom at ANU Canberra where an assault took place. Ray Strange

ANU student Max Claessens told News Corp Australia that his friend, who was in the classroom, described the attack as a complete surprise.

"One of the students just randomly out of the blue got up with a bat, struck out at two or three students before apparently going for the teacher," he said.

"Obviously people were in a bit of shock so they ran out to get help before the guy, who wasn't calming down, he was going a bit crazy to be honest, was restrained."

Mr Claessens said no one knew what sparked the attack.

Politics student Max Claessens whose friend witnessed the assault.
Politics student Max Claessens whose friend witnessed the assault. Ray Strange

"It was out of the blue, nothing seemed irregular about the guy," he said.

"He had been in the class since the beginning of the term so he wasn't an unfamiliar person at all."

His friend, who is Asian, said there was no indication the attack was racially motivated or targeted at any other group.

EARLIER: A MAN has been taken into custody after several people were attacked on the Canberra campus of the Australian National University.

Reports suggested the attacks were random in nature.

The university released a statement saying a student entered an ANU tutorial room near the Copland Lecture Theatre and assaulted four other students around 9.15am.

ABC reported that the students were attacked with a baseball bat.

Early reports suggested the attacks were random in nature, but the student newspaper Woroni reported that the man "appeared to attack students of Asian appearance".

A statement from the ANU media offfice stated that there was "no indication of motive".

The pro vice chancellor, Marnie Hughes Warrington, is expected to address the media in Belconnen at midday.
A representative from the student union NTEUACT told the media: "We are confident that ANU has taken all reasonable steps with regard to managing this incident".

Paramedics attended the scene.

The University said its first priority was the welfare of staff and students, and counselling services were being provided to all those affected.

Police said there was no ongoing threat to public safety.

They are calling on anyone who witnessed the incident to call 131 444.

News Corp Australia

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