A 43-year-old Wallangarra man will face court after attacking Tenterfield Police sergeant James Boaden in an incident on Wednesday night, October 24 that clarifies that NSW police do have ‘special constabulary’ rights across the border.
Sgt Boaden said he and Senior Constable Miranda Kapsalis were patrolling Jennings when their attention was drawn to the speed and condition of a vehicle heading south on New England Highway. Several minutes later they passed the vehicle again as it returned north, arousing suspicion.
The driver didn’t stop when the police lights were turned on, instead making obscene gestures and even braking suddenly in an attempt to force a collision as police pursued. He proceeded across the border, past the Wallangarra Police Station and turned into his own Margetts Street driveway, apparently unaware that Tenterfield Police still had powers of arrest.
Then in an apparent effort to divert attention away from the contents of his vehicle, Sgt Boaden said the man locked his car and threw the keys. When Sgt Boaden asked, “Why didn’t you stop mate?” the man lunged at him, hitting him twice in the face and ripping his uniform in the resulting wrestle.
Capsicum spray failed to subdue him so Snr Cst Kapsalis announced and then deployed her taser, with the man finally succumbing after the second dose.
Alerted by the nearby commotion, Wallangarra Police sergeant Alan Baker was soon on site and Stanthorpe Police weren’t far behind having been notified by the Tenterfield Police as they crossed the border.
Alarmingly a search of the man’s vehicle uncovered a loaded .22 rifle (with the serial number filed off) wrapped in a towel with an attached scope, a full magazine of ammunition, dark clothing and gloves, zip ties and black spray paint.
“He was definitely up to badness,” Sgt Boaden said.
“I think he was just trying to distract us from the car, and his temper got the better of him.”
Sgt Boaden fears what might have happened if the two vehicles hadn’t crossed paths, and feels the police did their job protecting the community that night.
“It was going to be a normal traffic stop,” he said.
“How quickly the role of police can change.”
Sgt Boaden has been left with injuries to the back of his neck and chest and a sore jaw. The perpetrator has been charged with nine offences include the serious assault of a police officer causing harm, evasion and carrying a loaded weapon in a public place. He faces Stanthorpe Court on November 21.