by Dee McLachlan
I would not normally write up something that had such little consequence — but this incident, that was reported differently, possibly reflects where we might be headed.
It seems the Swanston and Flinders street intersection has become a “stage.” In January 2016 it was Dimitrious “Jimmy” Gargasoulas doing his donuts, before driving down Swanston, then Bourke streets, killing people. Then, last Saturday (30/10/2017), on the morning of the AFL Grand Final, a car began driving up an down the iconic Swanston street in the city.
The fifteen year old then reversed down Swanston street at high speed — coming to a skidding 180 degree stop in the intersection.
If you happened to be there, this event looked equally, or more threatening than Gargasoulas. This is what what was reported across the MSM:
“A knife-wielding 15-year-old rampaging outside Flinders St Station… The teen was armed dressed in a “concerning” outfit, and, according to witnesses, was attempting to hit pedestrians… Acting Superintendent Wayne Newman said there was no information to suggest the youth had links to terror… they are treating the incident as “mental health” related…”
In the video below (I think shot by a passing cyclist) shows the car reversing, at high speed, down Swanston, then skidding to a stop. The driver just sits in the car while someone throws a bike. Someone rushes in and smashes the passenger window. The driver then climbs out in full black gear with a black helmet on — and puts on a heavy-looking black backpack.
Police arrive very quickly, as there was a large police presence on the Grand Final day. The driver starts pacing about, and on the video below, you can hear pedestrians shouting, “Shoot him, shoot him.”
The police approach, and try pepper spray him. He charges, and they rush in, and subdue the driver, also tasering him. The police demonstrate restraint and professionalism. The bomb squad is called.
A few observations:
- The driver, at 15 years old, demonstrates remarkable driving skill reversing at high speed for a long distance before doing a 180 at the intersection.
- Then he just waits there. I wonder why? It seems he had planned to get out and parade in his black gear, with backpack, and helmet.
- A grey car appears, having driven down Swanston street, which does not allow normal traffic. This car turns right. I wonder who is driving?
- The police play down the event, as “mental health” issue. Mr Newman said there was no information to suggest the youth was out to harm people, and said, “I don’t think there was any intention… [to cause] harm.” This analysis was delivered very quickly, before anyone could have checked his computer. (As the identity of the teen is withheld, we don’t know the background of the individual. But I wonder if he was of Middle Eastern origin, whether this would be treated differently?)
The police acted quickly and “neutralized” the threat professionally. They have now charged the charged 15-year-old Knoxfield boy with two counts of attempted murder, six counts of reckless conduct endangering life, and assaulting and resisting a police officer.
When I saw the video, I was stunned at the teen’s exceptional driving ability, and then wondered why he climbed out with a big black helmet on. I will not say that this was a staged incident — but that’s what flashed through my mind. This incident certainly countered the bad rap the police got from not dealing with Gargasoulas at the same intersection last year.
In today’s Age, there is an article titled, ‘Why did nobody run in the face of the Melbourne threat?’ writing, “…bystanders, for the most part, stood and watched, or filmed on their mobile phones.” Yep, it seems the intersection has become a stage for bizarre behaviour.