Photographer assaulted, car club in damage control
Experienced Gold Coast-based photographer Dirk Klynsmith has suffered mild concussion in an incident where he was assaulted by the president of the Auckland Car Club at the Supercars meeting at Pukekohe.
Police have commenced an investigation into the ugly incident, captured on video, where an attempt was made to trip Klynsmith before he was physically forced onto his back, suffering a bump to his head.
A fellow photographer who filmed the violent attack gave a statement to police in the circuit’s media centre.
Auckland Car Club president Ted Jarvis is seen to walk away briskly after Klynsmith was left dazed and cast on his back after momentarily losing consciousness.
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The incident had been triggered by a verbal altercation with a security guard in another part of the circuit earlier in the day which initially did not involve Jarvis.
Klynsmith later in the afternoon saw the security guard and asked him for his name so he could lodge a complaint over his behaviour.
The situation escalated with Jarvis and a number of other people becoming involved when Klynsmith tried to take a photo of the security guard after he refused to divulge his identity.
When contacted after arriving back home on the Gold Coast, Klynsmith told Speedcafe.com: “I have got a little bit of a sore neck as my neck landed on my camera equipment.
“I have got a couple of lumps on my neck and I have throbbing headache but I’m feeling alright.
“To be honest it is completely overwhelming the reaction from people telling me to get well soon.
“I’m totally shocked at what has happened. I didn’t think at any point that when I was trying to get the guy’s name that it would progress to anything else.
“I’m just thankful I didn’t actually trip and land face first because the camera would have hit me in the back of the head and it would have been rather more horrible.
“There was a couple of people that criticised Ben for doing the video, but at the end of the day the guy got identified because of the video.”
Speedcafe.com’s Supercars photographer Ross Gibb said he arrived on the scene just as Klynsmith was being shoved onto his back, clutching tens of thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment.
“The whole scene was surreal and then to see this coward and his other gutless mates walk off was appalling,” Gibb posted on Facebook.
“I immediately went to Dirk and did some first-aid checks and he was out cold.
“I was concerned for his head and neck but thankfully Dirk came around after about 10 seconds and he was dazed and after some quick checks he appeared to not have anything broken.
“Thankfully someone did go and get help and the St Johns First Aiders arrived quickly and did a quick check and the police arrived quickly too.”
An Auckland Car Club statement read: ‘Although we have no formal details at this stage and have not yet spoken with Mr Jarvis the Committee would like it to be known that we absolutely do not condone any kind of violence and we hope Mr Klynsmith is okay and apologise to him over this very regrettable incident.
“We would like it to be known that Mr Jarvis was not representing the car club in any formal capacity over the supercar weekend.”
The incident has drawn hundreds of comments on social media with many in the Supercars paddock voicing their disgust at the assault.
VIDEO: Footage of the altercation