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Police use of force during arrest in Geraldine justified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that two officers were justified in using pepper spray, Tasers and manual force to effect a man's arrest in Geraldine on 31 August 2018.

During that evening, a Police officer observed a Holden pull out of an address in Geraldine, known to be frequented by drug users. The officer began a pursuit but abandoned it 15 seconds later due to the manner of driving.

A second officer heard on the radio that the Holden was heading in his direction. He drove onto a single-lane bridge to prevent the Holden driving into oncoming vehicles should it travel that way. The Holden subsequently drove onto the bridge and into the back of the Police car.

The female driver and male passenger exited the Holden and ran towards a civilian vehicle waiting to cross the bridge. The man opened the door, punched the driver, and attempted to pull him out of the car.

After failing to extract the driver, the man ran around the parked cars and the two officers chased him. The man entered an unlocked Police car and attempted to escape in it but was unable to do so as the officer had the keys.

The officers repeatedly told the man to get out of the car but he refused, locked the car door, screamed continually and kicked the car interior. He then released the handbrake and the Police car began rolling backwards.

One of the officers broke the Police car window with his baton and attempted to pepper spray the man. Both officers fired their taser twice at him. However, none of these actions were successful.

The man then got out of the Police car and ran down the road. The officers chased, caught and detained him but he resisted arrest. A member of the public assisted the officers to restrain him.

"Despite repeated instructions to put the handbrake on and get out of the car, the man ignored the officers. Communication and the attempted use of pepper spray had no effect on his behaviour. He continued to be volatile with no apparent intention to comply with the officers' instructions. Having also assaulted a member of the public prior to getting in the Police car, the officers were justified in firing their tasers to effect the man's arrest."

The Authority found that the man received appropriate medical care following his arrest.

Public Report

Use of force during arrest in Geraldine (PDF 487 KB)

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