A gang terrorised commuters on a Williamstown train, stealing a young man's phone and placing him in a headlock when he tried to escape.
'James' said he was terrified when two men sat beside him on Tuesday afternoon, asked the time and demanded he show them his phone.
When the 20-year-old was surrounded by between seven and 10 men, he surrendered his phone and tried to escape from the carriage.
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"As I tried to stand up they put their knees up so I couldn't leave," he told radio station 3AW this morning.
"That's when I started panicking ... they wouldn't let me out."
The victim stood on a train seat and the group of men, who had boarded at North Melbourne station, grabbed his legs and placed him in a headlock.
At one point, one of the men said "no one is getting off the carriage", he said.
After jumping over the seat, the men targeted another male commuter, asking for his phone.
"They wanted his phone and I think his wallet. He stood up to them and they started getting quite violent."
James said the carriage was half full when the incident took place and many commuters ran to other carriages, trying to escape.
"I am still shaken up. It was quite a traumatic experience, something I never want to go through again."
The men did not produce any weapons, but the victim said they were carrying pocket knives.
He said some of the men were almost 2.1 metres tall and that the group had targeted commuters sitting alone.
Police are investigating the alleged robbery and assault, which took place about 3.20pm.
They said the group of men got off the train with the stolen phone at Footscray station.
The victim was not physically hurt and continued on the train towards Williamstown, where he reported the incident to police.
Police said the offenders are believed to be of African appearance, aged in their late teens to early 20s, about 183 centimetres tall and of medium build.
The men were wearing dark clothing with beanies and one was wearing a green-coloured T-shirt.
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