Defence barrister Fabiano Cangelosi told the Supreme Court that all that happened was “a lot of yelling”.
Defence barrister Fabiano Cangelosi told the Supreme Court that all that happened was “a lot of yelling”.

Man denies crossbow assault on police

THE situation inside a Molesworth home in the early hours of August 1 last year was chaotic but did not include a man threatening to shoot two police officers with a crossbow, a jury has been told.

Rodney Gene Crosswell, 36, of Bridgewater, has pleaded not guilty to assaulting a police officer at his uncle's Molesworth home.

Mr Crosswell's trial began in the Supreme Court in Hobart today.

Crown prosecutor Allison Shand told the jury that police were called to Molesworth by another man who lived nearby.

Ms Shand said that man - who had what she described as a toy rifle in his utility - came upon Mr Crosswell on Molesworth Rd. She said he went back to his own home where he called police and reported Mr Crosswell had a firearm.

She said when police arrived and the front door was opened by Mr Crosswell's uncle, officers saw Mr Crosswell holding a crossbow.

"The allegation is he put the crossbow up to the officers … There was shouting and threats to shoot the police," she said.

Ms Shand said when police subsequently entered the house, Mr Crosswell was going in and out of a bedroom, where he ended up leaving the crossbow.

She said he told police when he was interviewed that he initially retrieved the crossbow because the other man had pointed a rifle at him.

The court heard Mr Crosswell's partner and her children were also at the house at the time of the alleged incident.

Mr Crosswell's barrister Fabiano Cangelosi said the situation at the house was chaotic when police arrived.

"The house gets surrounded by police, police intend to enter and to search," Mr Cangelosi said.

"There's a lot of yelling. Things like, 'armed police, open the door' are yelled."

He said the two officers at the front door drew their guns.

"Inside the house it is very chaotic. There are children in a lounge room and a woman … is screaming. Mr Crosswell is saying to police, 'don't shoot me'.

"He is then arrested and, ladies and gentlemen, that is quite simply all that happened."

The trial, before Justice Gregory Geason, continues.