Police Minister in ‘road rage’ clash with teen P-plate driver
NSW Police Minister David Elliott has admitted “blowing up” during a road-rage incident in which he is accused of grabbing a teenage driver by the arm and telling him he “worked for the cops”.
At the height of the drama, the teen asked Mr Elliott to produce his police ID. “He said ‘show me your badge’,” the minister told The Australian. “I said ‘I pay for the badges, I don’t get one’.”
Mr Elliott had been driving his wife to church on Windsor Road, Baulkham Hills, on Sunday, October 27 when the 17-year-old
P-plater allegedly “clipped” his car and drove off.
The minister is alleged to have followed the teenager and verbally abused him before reporting him to police at the Castle Hill station in Sydney’s northwest for leaving the scene of an accident. Mr Elliott denies touching the youth.
The teenager made his own statement to police after his alleged treatment by Mr Elliott, and his mother has complained personally via email to Premier Gladys Berejiklian. The Australian has spoken to the boy’s father who claimed the minister “chased” his son “through the backstreets of Castle Hill” and grabbed his arm, a claim the minister denies.
The teenager’s father said Mr Elliott should instead have taken down his son’s licence plate and given the details to police if he believed his car had been hit.
The father said the youth rang him in the middle of the argument. His son was telling Mr Elliott to get away from him.
“I could hear this fellow yelling and screaming,” the father said of the phone call.
After the phone call, the father went to the scene of the confrontation. He said he and his son both swore at the minister’s wife and abused her. The father claimed Mr Elliott had told the youth he was a policeman.
“I think in this day and age when road rage is quite highprofile, it is poor form by someone in that position to be (behaving like that),” the father said.
“You have got no right to invade someone’s personal space.”
The father said he too had given a statement to police.
Mr Elliott told The Australian he “blew up” when the teenager refused to exchange details with him. “He claimed he didn’t have to so I said I work for the cops,” Mr Elliott said. “He didn’t believe me so I gave him my business card.
“He said ‘show me your badge’. I said ‘I pay for the badges, I don’t get one’.”
Mr Elliott denied chasing the teenager’s car as “we were going the same direction”.
“I only stopped to ask to exchange details when we both parked at traffic lights.”
Mr Elliott estimated the
damage to his car at between $500 and $1000. He claimed the youth had been abusive to him and had sworn at his wife.
“I’ll be paying the damage because it’s probably under the excess,’’ the minister told The Australian after the newspaper approached him about the incident. “But I’m dirty about it and furious he swore at my wife.’’
“Even after I gave him my business card and said he was obliged to exchange details he kept swearing and carrying on.”
It is understood the youth told police Mr Elliott grabbed his arm during the incident.
Mr Elliott rejected the father’s claims last night, saying he did not touch the youth. “I spoke to him through the passenger’s side. No one touched anyone.
“If I was ‘ chasing’ him, why did he tell police that he didn’t know I wanted him to exchange particulars? Besides, we were all going the same way towards Baulkham Hills — hardly ‘chasing’. My wife did not swear at them. She’s a devout Catholic and never uses foul language.”
He said the parents were not witnesses to be event “so be careful taking their word”.
The Australian understands police have not laid any charges over the matter given the youth reported to a police station shortly after the incident, and the stories were inconsistent.
The youth had also claimed he had driven off because he was fearful of Mr Elliott.
It is understood Ms Berejiklian has spoken to the minister about the incident.
The mother of the youth, when contacted by The Australian, said the minister’s behaviour had been “pretty bad”.
The road rage furore emerged a day after revelations the Police Minister caused a storm when he defended NSW police stripsearching of children as young as 12 at music festivals, arguing he would want his own children stripsearched if they were suspected of wrongdoing.
A police spokeswoman confirmed to The Australian that a 49-year-old man attended Castle Hill Police Station on Sunday October 27 to report a minor collision between his Lexus sedan and a Mazda utility on Windsor Road, Baulkham Hills, which occurred about 9.40am that day.
“Shortly after, the 17-year-old male driver of the Mazda also attended Castle Hill Police Station and spoke to police,” she said. “No injuries were reported.”
The spokeswoman said officers from The Hills Police Area Command had conducted inquiries and the drivers had since exchanged details. A spokesman for the Premier said:
“We understand this matter was referred to the police by those involved. Questions on the incident should be referred to the police.”