50 attacks a week: Thin Blue Line under siege

A woman is behind bars after allegedly kicking, scratching and spitting in the face of police officers at the scene of a house fire in Sydney's west, the third attack on the thin blue line within 24 hours.

The latest incident occurred after emergency services were called to a property in South Wentworthville about 9.30pm last night to find a granny flat well alight.

Checks revealed a 37-year-old woman at the house had two outstanding warrants for assault, resisting police, intimidating police and making vexatious phone calls.

But when police tried to arrested her, it's alleged she scratched one officer and kicked another several times.

The officers subdue the girl. Credit: 9 News
The officers subdue the girl. Credit: 9 News

She was treated for minor smoke inhalation at Westmead Hospital, where it's alleged she then spat in the face of another officer.

The woman has since been charged with three counts of assaulting an officer in execution of duty and refused bail to appear at Fairfield Local Court today.

The incident followed two other incidents yesterday where Sydney police came under attack.

The assault on Constable Jacob Vella in Sydney's southwest, followed by a female officer getting punched in the face at Hornsby, came as the police union revealed assaults on frontline officers had now hit more than 50 a week.

The mother shielded her daughter’s face as they left the police station. Picture: Damian Shaw
The mother shielded her daughter’s face as they left the police station. Picture: Damian Shaw

 

The girl was charged with assaulting a police officer. Picture: Damian Shaw
The girl was charged with assaulting a police officer. Picture: Damian Shaw


NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell said working as a police officer was "dangerous" and "there are people out there who don't respect the uniform and think it is all right to attack officers".

Constable Vella, 24, and his partner were executing an arrest warrant for a Ricky Constantino, 58, at a home in Sadleir just before 7am yesterday, when he was allegedly attacked.

As the officers tried to apprehend Constantino, his son Rory, 27, allegedly lunged at Constable Vella, slashing him across the neck and arm with the makeshift spear.

The officer stumbled out of the house, clutching his neck and screaming for help before collapsing near the road.

Istana Sleiman lives opposite the home and said she heard bloodcurdling screams.

"I heard lots of screaming going on.

 

Stabbed Constable Jacob Vella.
Stabbed Constable Jacob Vella.

 

Forensic police investigate the attack on Constable Vella.
Forensic police investigate the attack on Constable Vella.


"I saw a man on the floor, he was struggling to get up, there was blood all over the floor, there was blood all over his hands," Ms Sleiman, 20, said.

"He got a towel and wrapped it around his neck and screamed for help."

The uninjured officer ­arrested Ricky Constantino and called for backup.

Constable Vella, who joined the force in 2017, was taken to Liverpool Hospital where he underwent surgery. He remains in a stable condition.

The Constantinos were both charged last night and will appear in Liverpool Local Court today. Rory Constantino is facing seven charges, including wounding a police officer.

His father, who was wanted over breaching a community corrections order, faces two charges, including assaulting an officer.

The assailant approaches Constable Edwards and stabs him in the back
The assailant approaches Constable Edwards and stabs him in the back

 

Stabbed... Thirty-year-old Constable Hayden Edwards in hospital.
Stabbed... Thirty-year-old Constable Hayden Edwards in hospital.


Hours later, a female officer, 40, was punched in the face by a 14-year-old girl at Hornsby mall at 4.30pm. The teen allegedly punched her in the face and kicked her.

The officer was treated for soreness to her face and arm but was not hospitalised. The girl was last night being questioned at Hornsby police station.

In April, Constable Hayden Edwards, 30, was stabbed with a 45cm hunting knife at Central Station while responding to an incident.

His 53-year-old attacker allegedly threatened three other officers with the knife before he was arrested after a Taser was deployed.

Police Association NSW president Tony King said the violent attacks showed police were under siege.

"When you look at the last couple of months, we had a stabbing in Central, we had another policewoman seriously assaulted at Kogarah," he said. "On average, 50 officers are assaulted each week.

A video still of the scuffle at Hornsby Police Station. Credit: 9 News
A video still of the scuffle at Hornsby Police Station. Credit: 9 News


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