Cop car burns, 15 arrested in riot
POLICE were pelted with pavers, rocks and bottles and a police paddy-wagon was torched as a party raged out of control in Yamba in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Fifteen people, most of them juveniles, were arrested as a result of what police described as a riot. Thirteen of them have been charged with a string of offences, including four adults who were each refused bail when they appeared in a bail court hearing in Grafton yesterday.
Police had been called to a noise complaint in a little-used building in Deering Street in the Yamba industrial area about 11.30pm on Saturday and issued a noise abatement notice, but returned again about 2.30am as the noise again escalated.
It was when they returned that problems started.
They said that when they arrived they were confronted by about 20 people who armed themselves with bricks and began smashing the windows and panels of the police car.
When the officers attempted to intervene they had rocks and bricks thrown at them.
The officers fled on foot and called for back-up. When they left, the paddy-wagon, worth an estimated $50,000, was torched.
The officers stayed close to the scene, collecting evidence until support arrived.
Another police vehicle came to their aid and was also pelted with rocks and bricks.
Police from across the command responded to the incident and arrested 15 people, including the owner of the complex and his wife.
Up to 20 police were called to help out in the incident. Coffs-Clarence Area Police Commander Mark Holahan said it was fortunate none of his officers was hurt.
“Those who attended made a quick assessment of the threat and moved to safety,” he said.
“But as good police officers will do, they continued to collect information.”
He said the police vehicle could be replaced, but officers couldn’t.
“If people engage in behaviour that targets members of the NSW Police Force and expect us to sit there and take it, they are sadly mistaken,” he said.
Commander Holahan said police would not tolerate people who thought officers could be used as punching bags.