Jail for man in attack on cops
OFFICERS were forced to draw firearms on a man with a tomahawk who repeatedly rammed his car into a police vehicle in Condon.
Gussippie Anthon Rupena, 31, managed to drive off but police found him at an associate’s home, hiding in a cupboard, days later. He launched out of the cupboard, punched an officer in the ribs and was tasered and arrested.
Rupena pleaded guilty in Townsville Magistrates Court yesterday to a string of charges including going armed to cause fear, wilful damage, dangerous driving, assaulting police and receiving tainted property.
Prosecutor Sergeant John Moran said police went to Rupena’s Swallow St home on January 22 to investigate stolen registration plates.
When police pulled up in the driveway, Rupena ran across the yard, got into the car and started revving the motor.
“Mr Rupena has then exited holding a small axe, he has held it up and threatened it towards police, who exited the police vehicle,” Sgt Moran said.
“Police had drawn their firearms, pointed them towards Mr Rupena, ordered him to stop the vehicle and drop the weapon.” Instead, Rupena got back into the car and drove it into the police vehicle. He reversed and again rammed the police car, this time at a “high speed”, pushing it out of his path so he could drive away.
Sgt Moran said on January 25, police went to a Rasmussen home in search of Rupena and a plain clothes officer found him hiding in a cupboard.
“The defendant has launched himself out of the cupboard ... ( and) proceeded to punch the officer three or four times in the ribs,” he said. Another officer arrived to find Rupena on the ground on top of the officer and tasered him.
Defence solicitor Tristan Carlos said Rupena had written a letter of apology to the officers. Rupena’s de facto partner was in court with their seven- month- old child.
Magistrate Ross Mack said police had shown restraint by not shooting at Rupena.
“Not only are they threatened with physical harm ... they’re confronted with a devil’s choice – do I use the ultimate restraint or not? These are real dilemmas for police.”
Mr Mack said Rupena had an “abominable” criminal and traffic history and the community needed protection from him. Rupena was sentenced to two- and- a- half years in jail. Because of time already served he will be released on parole on November 24.