Footage capturing the dramatic moment when a teen was arrested after he tried to mow down pedestrians in Melbourne’s CBD has been released.
The CCTV video shows the dramatic standoff between an unnamed 15-year-old boy and police after he stole his father’s car and drove it wildly through the city centre on Sept. 30 last year.
According to the Herald Sun, the car swerved between trams and mounted footpaths, ran multiple red lights and was seen narrowly missing pedestrians and cyclists before the encounter with police officers.
The car was eventually stopped at the Flinders St intersection and a man was seen approaching the driver while another man threw a bike at the car, reported the newspaper.
In the footage, the boy wearing combat gear is seen exiting the green vehicle, armed with a bike pump as a weapon just outside Flinders St train station.
Two police officers are seen in the footage trying to order the boy to drop his weapon and lie on the ground, but the boy continues to pace up and down.
Eventually, one of the police officers get close enough to the teenager and tries to spray him with pepper spray. The boy then charges towards the police officer causing the officer to fall backwards on to the tram tracks.
The other officers are then seen rushing in, tackling the boy to the ground and stunning him with a taser gun.
The teen, who was not named for legal reasons, was initially charged with 14 offences, including two counts of attempted murder, but several were dropped following negotiations on Thursday, March 1, reported 7News.
The 15-year-old pleaded guilty to six charges, including reckless conduct endangering life, assaulting police and driving unlicensed. Eight charges were dropped, including two counts of attempted murder.
The boy’s lawyer told the court that the 15-year-old was deaf and mute and had “complex needs” which were only discovered following the incident, reported 7News. The teen was subsequently diagnosed with autism.
“It’s most unfortunate that it’s taken these events to bring his problems to light,” his lawyer told the court, reported the Herald Sun.
“His sense of shame for being different seems to have increased, illustrated by his attempts to hide his hearing aids,” the boy’s lawyer said.
The boy’s lawyer also said that, “he was suffering from isolation and frustration as a result of his needs not being met over a long time,” reported 7News.
The children’s court judge said the teen was likely to avoid a sentence of detention in a youth justice facility, despite his serious crimes, reported the news station.
The court heard the boy posed little risk to the community as he now has the support he needs in place. The prosecution side said it will not seeking a sentence of detention, however, the judge hinted a probation order was likely.
The boy is due to be sentenced on March 14.
Prosecutor Mark Gibson SC praised the police officers for their bravery and the appropriate amount of force used to restrain the teen.
“The uniformed officers executed appropriate restraint and tremendous bravery,” Gibson said, reported the Herald Sun.
“They didn’t know at that time, what was in the backpack … whether it contained an improvised explosive device or incendiary weapon.
“But for their approach, the end result may have been a lot different,” he added.
The court heard the boy had a map of Melbourne’s CBD on his wall and owned army-related items and artifacts, reported 7News.
The 15-year-old had also viewed a live online webcam for Federation Square at 6.43am before leaving his home in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, reported the Herald Sun.
However, Gibson said the incident was not terror-related.