Police and cabbie saved teen’s life, nabbed her stabber
ELEVEN police officers from the Richmond Local Area Command and a local taxi driver have been recognised for their role in responding to and investigating the attempted murder of a 17-year-old girl in 2014.
The officers and driver were some of the 45 recipients of awards at the annual Richmond LAC awards ceremony held in Casino yesterday, which recognise police and those who have assisted them.
The young woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she was randomly set upon and stabbed multiple times in the early hours of the morning on November 22, 2014, while walking on Ballina Rd towards the Lismore CBD.
Lismore taxi driver Brett Fuller was first on the scene and stopped to help, taking the victim to the nearby Lismore ambulance station and alerting police while the offender fled in his vehicle.
Five police officers arrived at the station within minutes and two, senior constables Steven Hayes and Cameron Paine, commandeered Mr Fuller's taxi and drove the victim to Lismore Base Hospital.
The remaining officers then located the crime scene and broadcast details of the offender's car, which was sighted a short time later in Casino by two officers, senior constables Clinton Reddell and Ian O'Rourke.
A pursuit followed which ended when the offender's car crashed through a roundabout and caught alight.
The offender fled on foot, but was captured by the officers after a brief pursuit.
With the help of two other officers who subsequently arrived on the scene, senior constables Matthew Hudson and Emily Vaughan, the team were able to save a number of crucial pieces of evidence from the burning car.
The young woman's life was also saved due to timely medical treatment.
Other officers recognised in the response and investigation were Lismore constables John McPhie, Kim Ellis and Louis Papworth, and Casino shift supervisor Sergeant Steven Underhill and investigation supervisor Detective Sergeant Russell Ewing.
Chief Inspector Bill McKenna, who presented the awards, said police working in the Richmond LAC managed a huge cross-section of challenges without the same resources as police in Sydney.
"What we've achieved with the resources we've got I'm very very proud of," he said.
TALES OF BRAVERY AND LIFESAVING ACTIONS
Girl's attacker set upon by shoppers
RETIRED Hunter Valley police officer Lyster Hart and three other men were in the right place at the right time at Ballina Fair in 2013 when they were able to heroically disarm a man who held a five-year-old girl at knifepoint.
The four men were all awarded for their efforts at the Richmond Local Area Command police awards yesterday.
The incident unfolded when the man snatched the young girl by the arm from her mother and younger brothers in the busy shopping centre while pointing the knife at onlookers.
It was when the offender pointed his knife towards one of the award recipients, Wayne Marriott, that the young girl was able to break free and run.
Mr Marriott then bravely rushed the offender and took hold of his arms, receiving a stab wound to his hands and a head injury in the subsequent altercation.
It was then that Lyster Hart and the other two other men, Manual Peanna and Daniel White, came to Mr Marriott's aid, tackling the offender to the ground and disarming him, before police arrived and arrested the man.
Bought back from the brink of death
SERGEANT Daniel Bright and Senior Constable Malcolm Bird assumed the dying man had already pased away after they spent almost 20 minutes trying to break in to his locked property at The Channon with a screwdriver.
Concerns for the man's welfare had been raised by a family member who notified police on the night of January 4, 2015.
"We initially thought he'd passed away," Sgt Bright said. "But we checked his pulse, and it was very faint."
Assisted by Probationary Constable Mia Green, the three officers started CPR on the victim, rotating in shifts.
It was about 40 minutes before paramedics could arrive and during the long wait the officers maintained the man's weak pulse.
He was taken to hospital by paramedics and miraculously made a full recovery. The three officers were awarded with a commendation yesterday for their efforts.