Sunnies mistaken for gun in offender restraint
POLICE had to use physical force to restrain a man when they thought he was lunging for a police officer's gun.
Steven John Williams, 45, of Noosa Heads, was arrested and taken to the Noosa Watchhouse on August 10, Noosa Magistrates Court was told on Tuesday.
Initially he had been questioned by local police - who knew him well - for riding a bicycle without a helmet or lights at night.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Melissa Campbell told the court Williams had been riding along Sunshine Beach Rd in the wrong lane.
"He rode past police, who then attempted to intercept him at Laguna Car Park," she said.
"But he paid no heed and was riding erratically.
"They lost sight of him for a time, then later, outside the Rolling Rock club at Bay Village in Hastings Street, he was seen walking.
"He started to walk away when police approached.
"He said 'f*** off c****' to police and they arrested him for public nuisance.
"Getting him into the back of the police vehicle he continued to abuse police as other patrons witnessed."
Sgt Campbell said he initially refused to leave the police vehicle at Noosa watch-house, but was eventually escorted in.
"It required physical restraint; they had to use force," she said.
She said a police officer had dropped an item and Williams was seen to lunge for it, but not knowing what it was, they used force.
Williams was later transferred to the Maroochydore watch-house after having found in his possession two Ecstasy tablets.
Sgt Campbell said Williams had an alcohol problem and it would be better served if "someone can get him on track".
But defence lawyer Bernard Bradley said physical tactics were used on Williams because a police officer had dropped a pair of sunglasses he had been keeping in his gun holster.
"The cop dropped his sunglasses - when police thought he was reaching for a gun," Mr Bradley said.
"Not the case," he said.
Mr Bradley sought a community service order for Williams.
Initially Williams was up for seven charges including a number of police obstruction charges, but one was dropped through lack of prosecutorial evidence.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist placed Williams on probation for 12 months, ordered him to perform 60 hours of unpaid community service, and recorded a conviction.