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February 9, 2023

Drug abuse blamed for increase in bizarre and aggressive behaviour

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The smashed windscreen of a Byron Bay police vehicle allegedly kicked in by a tourist who had allegedly been threatening self-harm at Cape Byron Lighthouse on Christmas night, 2017. Photo NSW Police

Police are reminding the public of the dangers of methamphetamine (ice) following a number of incidents in recent weeks in which drug-affected people have been arrested or required hospitalisation after displaying out-of-character or violent behaviour.

In an earlier incident at Byron Bay, a man ran at police car and dived into the windscreen, which shattered on impact. He then stood on the bonnet kicking the broken windscreen in, before moving to the roadway and head-butting, then punching, the side window.

police discharged a taser as the man assaulted an officer, which had no effect.

The man was subsequently restrained by police and friends before being placed under arrest then assessed by ambulance officers. Two police officers were injured during the incident.

In another such incident, officers were assaulted while responding to reports of a naked man on the deck of a family home in Byron Bay. The man was not known to the occupants and had to be sedated to be taken to hospital.

In another incident, a 15-year-old boy was found naked yelling at passers-by in a Byron Bay street. He violently resisted police before being arrested and was subsequently taken to hospital due to his behaviour.

At Ocean Shores, police were called to a home by ambulance officers who were attempting to treat a man who was throwing himself against windows and diving head-first off fences to the ground. Five people were required to hold the man still long enough for medical treatment.

That was similar to an incident at Ewingsdale where police were required to assist ambulance officers in restraining a man so he could be treated. Prior to their arrival, the man had caused extensive damage to his bedroom. Eight people were needed to restrain the man.

Also at Byron Bay, police responded to reports of a man lying on the ground thrashing around. He attempted to strike attending police before seven officers were eventually able to restrain the man. He was taken to hospital for treatment.

Two police officers were injured during the incident.

Tweed/Byron Duty Officer Chief Inspector Luke Arthurs, said taking illicit drugs was ‘not only illegal, it was a massive risk to your health and wellbeing, as well as those of others around you and the emergency services personel who are called to assist you’.

He urged people to think about their health and the risk of having a criminal record, and encouraged any person with information about the supply and possession of prohibited drugs to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.





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