Woman thrown into parked cars
A US marine deployed in Brisbane violently attacked a 60-year-old woman, punching her in the face, throwing her around like a “rag doll” and repeatedly smashing her head into nearby cars in an unprovoked attack, a court has heard.
Taylor Wyatt Elwood, 20, only stopped the prolonged attack on the woman in a deserted carpark at Brisbane’s Enoggera Barracks when a Federal Police officer tried to intervene and was also attacked. Elwood’s lawyer yesterday said his client gave up a university gridiron scholarship that could have led to an NFL career to serve his country, had been “disgraced” by his actions and would be dishonourably discharged from the US Army. Defence lawyer Dave Garratt said Elwood could also potentially face a court martial. The CourierMail can also reveal Elwood’s commanding offi- cer, Colonel James Schnelle, the highest ranking US Marine deployed with the contingent, was relieved of his command earlier this week after he was caught drinkdriving in Darwin.
Elwood yesterday pleaded guilty to charges of serious assault of a person over 60, police assault and wilful damage relating to the attack in July this year.
Police prosecutor Glenn Whittle said on the day of the attack, a 60-year-old woman who worked at the army barracks had just got into her car at the facility’s multi-level carpark when Elwood, wearing a black motorbike helmet, dragged her from the vehicle and began repeatedly punching her in the face.
The prosecutor said Elwood then dragged the woman around the parking garage “like a rag doll” bashing her head into guard rails and cars so hard that a vehicle was dented and scratched.
“The victim states she really believed she was going to die,” he said.
Mr Garratt said the 20year-old had been offered a full scholarship to play gridiron at university which could have led to an NFL career but he turned it down to join the marines.
He said Elwood knew he had “brought shame to US Marine Corps and also his country” and that his actions had impacted the relationship between the Australian and US defence forces.
“He’s got no idea why he behaved in this appalling manner,” Mr Garrett. “He’s an outstanding marine.”
Elwood was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment which will be suspended after he has served three months. He was also ordered to pay $3000 restitution and $1331 for damage to a vehicle.