An elderly woman was taken to hospital, several police officers were injured and cars damaged during a dramatic arrest in Murwillumbah’s Main Street yesterday of a man alleged to have done a ‘burnout’ in his car.
Shoppers and business owners in the CBD rushed out to see half a dozen police trying to arrest the man in a small sedan that had crashed into several cars, including one with an elderly couple inside.
The 30-year-old Murwillumbah man will face Byron Bay Local Court today charged with several counts of assaulting police and using a car as a weapon to avoid arrest.
The incident started when police with a drug-sniffer dog were conducting an operation in the shopping precinct and while patrolling near the town clock on the main street allegedly saw a Hyundai Excel sedan perform the burnout.
A police media statement said that as police approached the car, the driver allegedly performed another burnout and drove off, before reversing towards the two officers, who had to take evasive action.
The sedan then allegedly hit another car containing a 70-year-old woman and an 80-year-old man.
The couple was assessed on site by ambulance paramedics and the woman was taken to Murwillumbah Hospital for further treatment to a suspected fractured sternum.
The officers called for backup it is alleged the Hyundai drove towards other police, who also had to take evasive action. Those officers suffered minor injuries as a result.
When the Hyundai stopped, police said they tried to remove the driver from the car and a struggle ensued.
The man was arrested at the scene and taken to Murwillumbah police station. He was later taken to hospital to undergo mandatory drug and alcohol testing and a further scuffle with police then allegedly ensued, in which those officers also sustained minor injuries.
The man was charged with using a weapon to avoid apprehension, two counts of assaulting police causing actual bodily harm, two counts of assaulting police, and prolonged, sustained loss of traction (burnout).
He was refused bail to appear in court today (Thursday).
Police are appealing to anyone who has phone camera footage or any other information to contact them and are also urging anyone with information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Echonetdaily understands some of the police involved were from other commands around the state who were rostered to break up the Bentley anti-CSG blockade but since that operation was cancelled have been re-rostered to north coast towns.
It’s believed scores of the surplus police officers are on the north coast this week.