Incident In Australia

by Gary Duncan

Here is a little incident that occurred at my station in an outer suburb of Sydney, Australia (Liverpool Police Station)…it can happen anywhere, so be on your toes.

My Police station has a large forecourt and also adjoins the local Court, which has a lot of people in and out all day long. About 1p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, 1999, a Sergeant was leaving the police station to buy some lunch when he was nearly hit by a half house brick. The brick missed him and smashed into one of our front windows.

The sergeant approached the male person who threw the brick, who immediately removed a LARGE carving knife from the front of his jacket. The sergeant backed off and yelled out for assistance. Cops came running and a standoff commenced.

As you can imagine in a large Business district, there was a large amount of pedestrians around on their lunch breaks and within a very short time there were approximately 300 onlookers and potential witnesses.

The sergeant began to negotiate with the male person who said he wanted to be shot so he could end it all. The sergeant told him that he wouldn’t shoot him so the male reached into his jacket to get something, but he dropped it on the ground. It turned out to be a toy pistol. He later said that he was going to point it at the cops in an attempt to have them shoot him.

The stand off continued and the tactical team and negotiators were notified. The main road past the station was blocked and all the pedestrians moved on.

It was not an ideal situation to deploy O.C. spray. It was very windy and taking into consideration the size of the knife and the chance of the spray not working immediately, we didn’t want him stabbing any cops before he was subdued.

The tactical team arrived and after a short time, he crossed into their “space” and he was sprayed with O.C. Foam from a magnum fogger. A stun grenade was also deployed and the male actually thought he’d been shot. The tactical team subdued him with the use of shields and chain mesh gloves and he was taken away and charged with a number of offenses.
It turns out that he was sexually assaulted when he was six years old; he had had enough and wanted to end it all. He didn’t have the pump to do it himself.

It just goes to show you that you have to be “on guard” at all times whilst in this job, no matter where you live or work.

About the Author:
Gary Duncan is a sergeant at a police station in the suburb of Liverpool, (30 ml from Sydney, Australia). There are 150 police and ancillary staff. The officers work 4 car crews per 12-hour shift with two officers per car plus a supervisor, duty officer and custody staff.

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