A 38-year-old man will face court today after a violent scuffle with police who tried to arrest him near Brunswick Heads yesterday afternoon.
The arrest, in which the man was capsicum sprayed and two officers injured, was witnessed by scores of people including children on a school bus.
Police have thanked four members of the public who came to the aid of the two officers near Uncle Tom’s Pies and Cafe, on the corner of Gulgan and Mullumbimby Roads, around 5pm.
The search for the man and arrest was sparked hours earlier when police were told a man was found by an airport employee sitting inside a light aircraft at Tyagarah Airfield south of Brunswick Heads at around 2pm.
The man left the scene and police began patrolling for him. He was spotted around 5pm walking along Gulgan Road.
But police allege that when they allegedly tried to speak to him he resisted, prompting them to use capsicum spray on him.
The man allegedly punched one of the officers, a female senior constable, in the face and head several times after she tried to restrain him.
Police say that as the man continued to resist, another officer tried to use his Taser gun, ‘without effect’.
The four locals then joined in to help police subdue the man before further police arrived.
The man was taken to Byron Bay police station where he was charged with several offences, including assaulting police, possessing a prohibited drug and entering enclosed lands.
He was refused bail to appear before Byron Bay Local Court today and further charges are expected to be laid in relation to the airfield incident
Police say the senior constable suffered bruising and swelling to her face, head and chest and taken to Byron Bay Hospital for treatment but later released.
Tweed/Byron police commander, Detective Superintendent Wayne Starling, said the actions of the public during this incident were commendable.
‘I’m heartened by the community support these four men offered the police and I would like to personally thank them for coming to the assistance of my officers,’ he said.