Rachel Fieldhouse

News

Wed, 3 Aug, 2022

“Absolutely despicable”: Teens attack off-duty chief inspector with pole

“Absolutely despicable”: Teens attack off-duty chief inspector with pole

A Sydney mayor has condemned an alleged attack against an off-duty police officer, describing the act as “absolutely despicable”.

Chief Inspector Bob Fitzgerald, who also serves as a councillor with Blacktown City Council, was on his way to work on Monday morning when he intervened when three teenagers were seen harassing other passengers and railway staff at Rooty Hill station, per The Daily Telegraph.

Police said Inspector Fitzgerald approached the teens, aged 14, 13, and 12, at about 4.30 am and asked them to stop what they were doing, informing them he was a police officer.

When he went to arrest the 14-year-old with the help of a member of the public, the boy resisted before verbally abusing and assaulting Inspector Fitzgerald, police allege.

It’s alleged Inspector Fitzgerald was struck multiple times to the head with a bike seat pole.

He was taken to hospital for head injuries that required stitches and was later released.

The member of the public was also allegedly assaulted but didn’t require medical attention.

More police rushed to the station, arresting all three boys and taking them to Mount Druitt police station.

Tony Bleasdable, the mayor of Blacktown City, said on Tuesday that he condemned the attack on Inspector Fitzgerald, who he described as “one of our city’s finest”.

“Cr Fitzgerald is a pillar of our community who has earned widespread respect over many years,” Mr Bleasdale said.

“Not only is he a dedicated police officer, he is a community volunteer, and a passionate Blacktown City Councillor who has given so much to his community for so long.

“As mayor, I condemn this alleged attack on one of our city’s finest and denounce violence in all its forms.”

Mr Bleasdale said the council wanted to promote a culture of nonviolence through their work with NSW Police, the PCYC and other organisations, and encouraged residents to call out violence before wishing Inspector Fitzgerald a speedy recovery.

“Council is committed to creating a safe community for our residents to live, work and play,” he said.

“We pursue this through our crime prevention plan and work with our local police in particular.

“Council encourages residents to call out violence in any shape or form and report any acts of violence to police.

“I wish Bob a speedy recovery.”

All three boys were charged with affray, with the 14-year-old facing another charge for resisting an officer in execution of duty, and the 13-year-old facing charges for causing grievous bodily harm to a police officer on duty reckless as to actual bodily harm and common assault. The 12-year-old was also charged with causing grievous bodily harm to a police officer on duty reckless to actual bodily harm.

They were refused bail and faced children’s court on Tuesday.

As police inquiries continue, anyone who witnessed the attack or who have footage from the incident, are urged to contact Mt Druitt Police Station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Image: The Daily Telegraph