Ricky Szwanka charged with intimidating police, resisting arrest after arrest for public urination, fighting: court

A Berkeley man caught urinating in front of onlookers, including police, outside The Grand Hotel last month became so aggressive when he was later arrested officers had to use physical force to subdue him, a court has heard.

Ricky Steven Szwanka, 27, is facing 11 charges stemming from the December 21 incident, including multiple counts of intimidating, resisting and assaulting police.

Court documents reveal police were called to The Grand just before 1am with reports a drunk patron was refusing to leave the venue.

Officers saw Szwanka on the roadway outside the hotel and, at the direction of security personnel, approached him and request his ID.

He was seen to be unsteady on his feet and had bloodshot eyes.

Police informed Szwanka he would be issued with a fine for failing to quit a licensed premises and issued him with a formal ‘move on’ direction, at which time Szwanka allegedly said he just wanted to go home and walked off with a friend.

Officers spoke to the security guards, who allegedly told them Szwanka had threatened to kill them and was seen “groping” women inside the venue.

The court heard officers were about to leave the hotel when they saw Szwanka urinating on the footpath at the intersection of Crown and Keira streets, in full view of pub-goers.

Police approached Szwanka again and told him to leave the area and that he would be receiving another fine for offensive behaviour.

Szwanka began walking towards Wollongong Railway Station, however court documents said less than half an hour later he was found in the middle of a fight that had developed on the corner of Keira and Market streets.

Police attempted to arrest Szwanka, however he allegedly fought against it, trying to bite one officer on the hand while others wrestled him to the ground.

It is alleged police were forced to use multiple approved knee strikes in order to get Szwanka under control and put him in handcuffs.

Once back at Wollongong Police Station, Szwanka’s aggression only grew, police claim.

It is allegedly he repeatedly threatened the lives of the arresting officers and their families, telling them when he was eventually released they would all be “dead”.

Szwanka was remanded in custody over the Christmas period however sought bail in court on Tuesday, with his lawyer saying he was the sole income earner for his family, who risked losing their house if he remained behind bars.

However, Magistrate David O’Connor refused to release Szwanka, noting he had a long criminal history that included past acts of violence.

The matter will return to court next month.