Man went for his machete when bank came for his home

HE DIDN'T want the bank to get his Collingwood Park house, so he tried to burn it down.

A three-and-a-half hour siege ended just before 1pm yesterday when a 39-year-old man was arrested by officers from the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT).

The drama began when a Westpac Bank officer and bailiff knocked on the door of the man's McCormack Crt home to enforce a warrant of possession on his residence.

The man refused to co-operate and the police were called.

Police forced their way into the home at 9.20am but the man allegedly swung a machete at an officer who drew his gun and retreated.

The siege then unfolded with surrounding streets shut off and police negotiators called into action.

SERT officers and police respond to a siege situation at Collingwood Park after a man allegedly attacked a police officer with a machete. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
SERT officers and police respond to a siege situation at Collingwood Park after a man allegedly attacked a police officer with a machete. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times David Nielsen

McCormack Crt, named after William McCormack, the Queensland Labor Premier from 1925-1929, was at various stages chock a block with 10 police cars, fire engines, ambulances,

SERT's giant Bear Cat armoured vehicle and a swarm of regular officers and SERT officers in their black garb.

At 12.15pm, not long after the SERT team arrived, the man set fire to his house and smoke was seen billowing from the home.

Inspector Keith McDonald said the fire was likely lit "as an act of retribution because of the fact he was giving up possession of his house".

"One could say it was a last act of defiance to the bank, to say, 'You maybe getting the house but it is going to be damaged," Insp McDonald said.

Insp McDonald said lighting the fire was "his own undoing".

The SERT unit and police respond to a siege situation at Collingwood Park after a man allegedly attacked a police officer with a machete. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
The SERT unit and police respond to a siege situation at Collingwood Park after a man allegedly attacked a police officer with a machete. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times David Nielsen

"Because of the smoke that was created he had to exit. Obviously, you breathe through your mouth and he has stuck his head out to grab some air and leant out through the windows," Insp McDonald said.

"That was just the opportunity we needed for the SERT officers to take him into custody."

The fire brigade then put the fire out with a crime scene declared.

Ambulance officers checked the man for smoke inhalation and he was taken to the Ipswich watch house and charged with arson and serious assault of a police officer.

The man will likely face court in Ipswich this morning.

In a bizarre twist to the saga, mid-way through the siege a white Commodore with two men inside was stopped by police on the corner of McCormack Crt and Forgan Smith St.

Police confiscate a phone from the passenger of this vehicle who was in contact with the man involved in a siege situation at Collingwood Park after a man allegedly attacked a police officer with a machete. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
Police confiscate a phone from the passenger of this vehicle who was in contact with the man involved in a siege situation at Collingwood Park after a man allegedly attacked a police officer with a machete. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times David Nielsen

The men were on their way to deliver a carton of beer to the man holding police at bay.

Needless to say, the beer was not delivered.

One of the men was questioned by police about whether his mate had any weapons or knives.

"Everyone around here has got a knife," the man replied.

But that violent take on life in Collingwood Park was rejected by resident Kerrie Heit who said the neighbourhood was peaceful.

"I have lived here for 19 years and it is pretty quiet," she said.

"We don't see kids running amok, so this siege is a surprise.

"But it is pretty scary. I have four young children myself and to think this is happening just across the road makes me worry about my children. But the local community is really good. We rally behind each other."



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