Sergeant Mal Scott leaves Maroochydore Court.
Sergeant Mal Scott leaves Maroochydore Court. Warren Lynam

Men armed with sledgehammers in violent cop assault

TWO men armed with sledgehammers, riding the high of a strung-out crime spree and under the influence of drugs.

It's every police officer's worst nightmare and Cooroy police Senior Sergeant Mal Scott was about to walk into it.

He was alone, unarmed and outnumbered, but he had a job to do.

A phone call from a nearby business owner tipped police to suspicious activity near Mitre 10 at Cooroy on January 2, 2017.


Harley James Grambower and an accomplice were wearing balaclavas and camouflage gear when they broke into the hardware store about 4am.

The 25-year-old was barefaced and showed no emotion as he pleaded guilty to more than 40 charges in Maroochydore District Court on Thursday for the offences he committed between December 2016 and January 2017.

Grambower and his accomplice broke through the back door of the store, cut the telephone wires and smashed the alarm box.

They stole two sledgehammers and ran back to their getaway cars, both stolen from HQ Plantations in the days prior.

What Snr Sgt Scott did next earned him the title of Police Officer of the Year.

The officer, who was standing by, gave chase to the men and caught up with Grambower's accomplice.

The man swung his sledgehammer but Snr Sgt Scott ducked and wrestled the weapon free. The man screamed for Grambower's help, but he was already getting in one of the cars.

The accomplice made a run for it but Snr Sgt Scott was right on his heels and used the sledgehammer to smash one of the ute's doors, stopping him from getting in.

Before Snr Sgt Scott could get out of the way, Grambower drove the second ute straight at him, hitting him and pinning him between the two vehicles.

The momentum threw Snr Sgt Scott under the bumper of the second ute.


Police set up a crime scene at Mitre 10 after the incident on January 2, 2017.
Police set up a crime scene at Mitre 10 after the incident on January 2, 2017.

Suffering serious soft tissue damage, Snr Sgt Scott had to "hobble" quickly out of danger and the two men sped off.

The car Grambower was driving was later found burnt out in bushland at Pomona.

Grambower was also involved in the armed robbery of a Glenwood service station in late December 2016.


He slammed a machete down on the service counter and demanded money from the till.

As he walked out, his face covered by a helmet and paint, he screamed, "Have a nice day".

He was also involved in the attempted robbery of a Pomona service station while armed with a rifle and a separate bottle-o where he made off with $6000 in cash.

Grambower had several accomplices during the crime spree but two of them were responsible for his undoing.


A car involved in the police chase in Gympie allegedly crashed into a Nissan Pulsar.
Grambower was arrested at Gympie, Tyler Skiller

The court heard a number of his accomplices gave information to police that led to his arrest at Gympie on January 6. He has spent the 20 months in prison.

Grambower was under the influence of methylamphetamine for most of the offending.


Family of Harley James Grambower left Maroochydore Magistrates Court.
Family of Harley James Grambower left Maroochydore Magistrates Court.

Judge Glen Cash commended the officer, who was sitting in the back of the courtroom, for his heroic actions and dedication to the town.

Grambrow was sentenced to nine years' jail, eligible for parole on July 6, 2020.