Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.
Two men have been arrested and charged after allegedly driving a vehicle at police during an operation on Sydney’s North Shore in an attempt to prevent lawful detention.
According to reports from NSW Police, the incident took place on Monday 12 April 2021 when officers from North Shore Police Area Command were conducting a drug operation at Neutral Bay.
Around 4:20pm, their attention was drawn to two men, aged 24 and 25, believed to be offenders, at which point they attempted to arrest them at a Woolworths carpark on Grosvenor Lane.
However, upon attempting to seize the men, the pair instead got into their car and drove at police, forcing one of the officers to open fire at them.
“The car hit the detective before he discharged his firearm; a number of bullets hit the car and it crashed into a bollard and stopped,” NSW Police said in a statement.
The driver of the car, and his 24-year-old counterpart were arrested and taken to Chatswood Police Station.
The driver of the vehicle was charged with using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention.
He was also charged with driving recklessly or furiously in a speed or manner dangerous.
His accomplice was charged with possessing a commercial quantity of unlawful import: border-controlled drug, and dealing with identity information to commit indictable offence.
Both men were denied bail and given notices to attend Manly Local Court.
The detective who was driven at suffered minor injuries to his legs, elbows and wrists.
He did not require medical treatment.
Meanwhile, shocked witnesses expressed disbelief in hearing the incident unfold.
“There were two really loud shots that went off,” a witness said to 7NEWS.
“I didn’t even realise there were gunshots until police pulled up.
“Nothing like that has ever happened the whole time I lived here.”
Not the First Case Where a Car Has Been Used as a Deadly Weapon
Although the use of motor vehicles as deadly weapons in crime is rare, this is not the first time that such a case has unravelled.
In November 2009, NSW man, Jason Neil Dargan allegedly ran into a group of youths including his cousin, intending to murder them, police allege.
Mr Dargan was charged with using his car to attempt to murder and two counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm.
Meanwhile, in September that same year, Simon John Hunter was sentenced to a minimum of 18 months’ jail following an incident where he intentionally ploughed his car into a group of people in Terrigal on 27 March 2008.
Similarly, in 2010, a Supreme Court trial took place against Sarah May Ward who was charged with murder after she allegedly drove her car into a group of people, killing 21-year-old Eli Westlake.
At the time, executive director of the NSW Bar Association, Philip Selth, affirmed motor vehicles, like any other weapon, are capable of killing people.
”What’s the difference between belting someone with a bit of four by two or driving into them deliberately,” he said, adding that anything could be used as a weapon. ”If I dropped my computer on you from three feet it is a weapon,” Mr Selth said.
In NSW, it is against the law to use, attempt to use, threaten to use, or even possess an offensive weapon or instrument to prevent lawful detention or arrest, according to section 33B of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
Accordingly, it is a crime for a person to use, attempt to use, threaten to use or possess an offensive weapon or instrument with intent to either commit an indictable offence or with intent to prevent or hinder a lawful apprehension or detention by police.
This offence carries up to 12-years imprisonment. However, if this offence occurs in the company of another person, the penalty rises to a maximum of 15-years imprisonment.
An “offensive weapon or instrument” is understood as:
- a) a dangerous weapon, or
- b) any item that is made or adapted for offensive purposes, or
- c) any item that, in the circumstances, is used, intended for use or threatened to be used for offensive purposes, whether or not it is ordinarily used for offensive purposes or is capable of causing harm.