Police used a taser during a confrontation with a drug-affected man in the main street of Brunswick Heads.
Police used a taser during a confrontation with a drug-affected man in the main street of Brunswick Heads. Rob Wright

The anatomy of a police arrest

BYRON cops have been at the centre of relentless public scrutiny since footage of two, separate violent arrests involving young people made national headlines.

Protests were staged accusing the force of brutality and misconduct while others have backed the police officers actions as emergency services grapple with drug abuse and mental health issues.

As investigations are on-going into both arrests, The Northern Star asked: How hard is it to be a cop on the beat these days?

Tweed/Byron Police District have released a recent incident report that provides a telling insight into the A to Z of drug-related arrests on the streets of Byron Shire.

It was just before midnight on Valentine's Day when two officers were confronted with a half-naked man, blood gushing from his arms, shouting at them to shoot him in the main street of Brunswick Heads.

Agitated, incoherent and ignoring police, one of the officers fired a Taser to avoid the encounter escalating into violence as the man walked toward the officers yelling.

The man, who told police he consumed a cocktail of cocaine, alcohol and a natural stimulant, pulled Taser probes from his bare chest and walked away unaffected by the electric shock.

Three police officers eventually managed to restrain and calm the man briefly enough to render first aid to the 10cm, self-inflicted gashes in his forearms and wrists from earlier in the evening. But he again began to struggle with police.

A short time later, paramedics arrived on the scene and sedated him before taking him to hospital. No charges were laid on the man, who was later dealt with under the Mental Health Act.

The arrival of paramedics that night marked the end of a horrific two-hour ordeal for the man, witnesses and emergency services.

Police said the man was understood to have hitch-hiked a ride into Brunswick Heads from Mullumbimby after cutting himself with an unknown implement just after 10pm on February 14.

Fishermen raised the alarm when they saw same man swimming about 100m out to sea near the Brunswick River.

The fishermen were later questioned by police in a failed bid to find the remainder of the man's clothes and black backpack.

Before emergency services arrived, the man caught waves to shore and walked into town wet, bleeding and half naked.

After the incident, Commander Superintendent Wayne Starling said the officer who shot the Taser was debriefed and a mandatory incident report was assessed.



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