Police brawl leaves one in hospital
Witnesses report seeing a 'hysterical' man, apparently an off-duty cop, yelling at a police officer in Brunswick before a brawl that left one of the officers in hospital on Wednesday night.PT0M47S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2tllh 620 349 September 12, 2013
A Victorian police officer could face criminal charges after a fight with another member of the force saw his colleague hospitalised and sparked an internal investigation.
The on-duty police officer was giving an off-duty colleague a lift home in Brunswick about 7.30pm Wednesday, according to police.
As they reached the officer’s home a fist-fight broke out, which resulted in the on-duty police officer receiving minor injuries.
One of the officers was taken to hospital as a result of the fight. Photo: Rob Gunstone
The officer was transported by ambulance to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he received treatment for a blood nose and swelling to the face.
North West Police Region Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp said police did not yet know the circumstances surrounding the fight.
A Professional Standards Command investigation into the incident was in its early stages, but he said police believed alcohol had been a factor.
“That is particularly concerning and disturbing for us as an organisation when quite often we come out in the media and we talk about alcohol-fuelled violence and what we see in our streets, in our homes at times, naturally it’s of concern,” Assistant Commissioner Crisp said.
“Naturally if you’ve got two police members, whether it be on-duty or off-duty involved in a physical altercation in the street it’s embarrassing.”
The investigation would also look into whether on-duty officers driving colleagues home was a regular practice, he said.
“I could understand on a rare occasion where you’ve got to look after a member’s welfare but certainly not in relation to being a taxi service for intoxicated members,” he said.
A witness told radio station 3AW the altercation took place between a uniformed police officer, a woman and another man.
“The man seemed to be yelling hysterically at the police officer,” the witness said.
“The woman was pushing [the man] away and the other police officer seemed to be backing away, not really doing anything to intervene.”
Assistant Commissioner Crisp said following the investigation there could be criminal charges or internal disciplinary action taken. “But at this stage I don’t want to prejudge,” he said. “I’m not sure what the motivating factors were.
“We just have to let the investigation run its course.”