‘Coward punch’ and assault to police caught on CCTV
A man has been charged with affray and assault after 'coward-punching' a passer-by and attacking police in Byron Bay on the weekend.
About 11.30pm on January 23, a 34-year-old man and an unknown woman were standing on the corner of Jonson and Bay Sts near the Quicksilver shop.
The man was verbally abusive and threatening towards the victim, a male who was walking with two other people, minding their own business.
The accused was attempting to fight with the victim, who did not become involved at any time.
According to police, the victim and two other males attempted to move away from the accused and not engage in any violence.
The accused, however, continued to advance towards the victim.
He then allegedly coward-punched the victim, who fell to the ground.
The accused then allegedly placed the victim in a headlock, while the unknown female kicked him. People around called out for the accused to stop.
The victim managed to break free and moved away and attempted to walk away.
The accused followed the victim and attempted to continue fighting with him.
The victim then punched the accused twice in self-defence and kept trying to walk away, according to police.
The accused followed him swinging punches, then ripped the victim's shirt off him.
Police arrived shortly after, and the accused ran away along the footpath toward the south.
Police pursued him by foot by about half a kilometre south along the path, and onto the beach, where he was tackled to the ground and handcuffed.
Police were in the process of placing the accused into the rear of the Police truck at Apex Park when he kicked several times and struck a police officer to his sternum with his foot.
Police said the accused was sprayed with a one-second burst of capsicum spray, which subdued him enough to allow the cage door to be closed.
He was conveyed to Byron Bay Police Station where he was charged with affray and assault police in the execution of their duty.
The entire incident was captured on CCTV and it clearly shows the accused being the sole aggressor during the incident.
The accused will appear in Byron Bay Local Court on February 15.