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Byron Shire
May 24, 2022

Lunchtime ‘siege’ in Mullumbimby

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A man has been forcibly removed from his car in Stuart Street, Mullumbimby, after a standoff lasting about half an hour following a routine police stop around 1pm (Thursday June 11).

Lunchtime shoppers witnessed the standoff between police and a motorist they had pulled over, which ended with the man dragged from his vehicle, handcuffed and taken to the cells in a paddy wagon.

Apparently the elderly male driver of the small Queensland-registered sedan was not wearing a seat belt.

When police approached the car and asked the man to get out of his vehicle, he refused.

Police also unsuccessfully tried to breath-test the man.

A witness said the man tried to drive away but was stopped from doing so.

Onlookers were drawn to the commotion as another police vehicle pulled behind them.

Ten minutes later, at least seven police officers had surrounded the car trying to end the standoff.

One officer then used a small crowbar and smashed the passenger side window of the vehicle to gain entry. He was seen to have cut his arm in doing so.

He was joined by others who pulled the man, aged around mid 60s with grey bushy beard and bald, out of the vehicle and handcuffed him.

Mullumbimby resident Jaz said she saw the incident unfold from the Source bulk food store.

‘They had him stopped here for a while and he was obviously not wanting to get out of the car,’ she told Echonetdaily.

‘They had the window open, maybe five or six inches, two cops, all four arms were in the car trying to pull him out and obviously trying to get the lock up to open the door.

‘He was obviously trying not to get out of the car so they’ve just pulled the whole front of his body and his head through the window and his face and arms have smashed the window.’

Subsequently Echonetdaily witnessed the reinforcement police officers arriving, one of whom cleared the street by shouting aggressively and threatening people who were using cameras and mobile phones to record the incident.

Inspector Gary Cowan of Tweed Byron Local Area Command, who was on the scene, told Echonetdaily ‘it was a traffic stop, pure and simple’.

He said the man refused to comply with an order to get out of the car, attempted to drive away after police had stopped him and when that failed hid the keys to the car.

He said at least one officer had been injured in the incident. ‘My first concern is for the welfare of my officers,’ he said.

As the man was moved into a paddy van he called to people in the street to ‘look after my car’.




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  1. Sadly I was caught up in this and just amazed at the folks, standing around, filming, making judgements. No one knew the full facts but of course, it was police brutality. Of course they all ‘knew’ that the man was within his rights to refuse to get out of the car (wrong). They KNEW the police were harrassing him, wasting taxpayers money, being brutal. One woman even stated that he was protesting for ‘all of us” No madam, he was not protesting for me. I would happily get out of the car if asked to by the police. I am glad they are enforcing road rules. I am extraordinarily grateful that the police do all the awful work that keeps us all safe. So think it through. Let’s just assume there was nothing more to it than a traffic stop. Let’s assume a check had not shown there was a warrant out for his arrest for domestic violence, driving whilst disqualified, stalking etc etc. Let’s assume the police felt there was something untoward and simply asked him to exit his car and he refused. What is it that you would have liked the police to do? Smiled and said, ok then, off you trot? Try to use your brains. Try to understand what the life of a police officer is like. Just remember, these same officers that you were filming and chastising will perhaps be the ones who tonight are picking body parts off the road after and accident and then going to inform the parents their much loved child is dead. Those very same officers. Think about it!

  2. Hi there. I am trying to find out more about this story. Further video footage or information regarding what happened to the driver would be great. Please let me know if u can help..Thanks

  3. i witnessed the incident
    the old man never tried to drive of at all

    the police should have issued him a ticket .
    and that’s it

    instead they smashed both his front windows tried to drag him out of the car with excessive force.
    while the man cried for help and made it clear they were hurting him
    so much for police negotiation skills \
    the officers involved circled the car like mad violet people and caused huge damage to the car and the old man
    the old man did not once raise his voice or act in any way violent against the police.
    they claim he tried to drive of this is not true as he took the key out and hid it at the very beginning.

    it is the same thing police thugs hiding behind the badge and the injury to the police man was self inflicted when he smashed the two front windows he cut himself …..
    when told he was bleeding into the guy and how could he know he was disease free he ignored by standers and kept assaulting the old man….

    this is a real shame and more proof that police abuse their powers.

    there was no provocation at all …. the old man simply said no to the police officers and paid the price…….

  4. It is actually against the law for Police officers to remove anyone from their vehicle without a warrant. To do so is considered breaking and entering. It is also a right of citizens to be able to film police officers.

    • in response to kristian : this is the case only if no law has been broken prior to the event . Clearly the police were in the right as he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt , refused a breath analysis and tried to flee the scene .

  5. Police are a disgrace. Where was the mediation, the negotiation, the gentle approach. It seems, instilling fear is the only way they will force us to respect them, and that, ain’t working. It’s time the police realised they are employed by a private company that has nothing to do with our constitution. They are breaking the law by being aggressive and forceful.
    Mullumbimby is a peaceful town. If we can’t have peaceful police, maybe we shouldn’t have any.

    • There is no gentle approach when you’re resisting arrest after refusing to supply a sample of your breath (which is an arrestable offence) by locking yourself in your car and carrying on like a pork chop. It does not matter if Mullum is a peaceful town, we are a town of NSW and residents must follow the same laws and respectable behaviour as anywhere else. We should have no respect for this man’s histrionics.

  6. If it was the mulumbimby police they probably then issued a ticket for him not having his car securely locked and issued a parking ticket too. Looking forward to seeing the films


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