Activist in suicide attempt
FORMER Don Dale detention centre detainee Dylan Voller has been charged hours after he attempted suicide in the back of a police car.
Voller was found choking in the back of a paddy wagon following his arrest during an Aboriginal protest at Broadbeach yesterday morning.
The peaceful protest had quickly turned violent as activists attempted to make their way through the Broadbeach Mall, following an attempt to crash Channel 7s Sunrise program again. Four people were arrested when they failed to comply with a police direction, while Voller was arrested for breaching his bail conditions following his initial arrest at the opening ceremony.
He was placed in the back of a paddy wagon where a short time later he was found choking, with strips of his torn Tshirt around his neck.
“As he was being taken to the watchhouse one of the officers had noticed the male person (Voller), 21 years old, had appeared to have tied something around his neck,” Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd said. “They immediately stopped their vehicle and moved very quickly to the rear.
“They found the individual had torn part of his T-shirt and tied it around his neck and tied a knot and appeared to be gasping for air and choking as a result of that. I’m very thankful that police professionally moved in to provide immediate assistance and were able, using a pen knife, to cut part of the T-shirt off his neck.”
Ethical Standards police are investigating, with officers’ body-worn cameras forming part of their inquiries.
Voller was charged with breaching bail conditions. Four other men were charged with contravening a direction and obstructing police.
They are all due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court next month. CHRIS MCMAHON POLICE are preparing to swoop in large numbers to stop protesters said to be planning to disrupt the 42km Commonwealth Games marathon.
Some Aboriginal protesters say they will target the event but even though policing it will be a logistical nightmare on the course, which takes in nine suburbs along the coastline, officers say they are prepared for anything.
It is understood security will be bolstered amid concerns for the continuity of the race and the safety of athletes.
Sources confirmed police are watching the protesters closely. Police would not reveal their tactics but were confident the marathon event, which includes men’s, women’s and wheelchair athletes races, would still run smoothly.
Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said anyone who tried to disrupt the marathon would be arrested.
“There will be a significant police presence out and about at those events and that will continue to the conclusion of the Games,’’ he said.
“We’ve done detailed assessments of security for every event that the Games has got and that includes road events.
“I would say to those people, really, don’t do that, because if they do break the law or cause harm, or put people in danger, we will take action.
“We’re well prepared for anything that may come.”
After sources said action was being planned for the marathon, leaders of the Aboriginal protest said only that observers should “wait and see”.
It is understood all protesting action is being decided by a small group of leaders among the protesters, two of whom were arrested yesterday at Broadbeach.
Games organising committee chairman Peter Beattie said he hoped protesters would stick to their word and not disrupt any events.
“I met the delegation, they said to me they weren’t interested in disrupting the Games or athletes and I have taken them on their word,’’ Mr Beattie said.
“Obviously it is a matter for police on how they deal with such issues.
“I assume they will stick to what they said.
“We want to make sure the marathon is run effectively.”
Protesters are camped illegally at The Spit, after their permit to set up camp there expired on Monday.
Police have said they would not be heavy handed with protesters on The Spit and would work closely with the Gold Coast Waterways Authority to ensure a peaceful outcome.
“We’re working with both the group that’s camped there and also the waterways authority, who are the people who own the land, which is progressing well,” Mr Gollschewski said.
“We are going to continue to negotiate on this. We’re not going to take a hard line on that … we will defer to the Gold Coast Waterways Authority, it is their land.”
Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd said police would not take any unnecessary action.
“As the Deputy said, we’re not interested in unnecessarily and unreasonably taking any action that doesn’t assist in any way, shape or form.
“Should the waterways authority seek our assistance further, as they normally do and have done in the past with other groups, whether they be campers or backpackers, we’ll certainly do that.
“We will continue our engagement and continue to encourage them to leave that area. They’re no longer lawfully there and they’re aware of that.
“These are complicated issues. It might be very, very simple to say ‘get in and get rid of them’, here’s some people who have chosen to use this time to draw attention to some significant issues of importance to them.”
Police would maintain a close eye on the camp.
WE’RE WELL PREPARED FOR ANYTHING THAT MAY COME
QPS DEPUTY COMMISSIONER STEVE GOLLSCHEWSKI
Protesters camped at Doug Jennings Park on The Spit.