Drunk driver accused of punching police officer trying to arrest him at Corrimal

A Sydney miner accused of punching a police officer in the face during a traffic stop at East Corrimal has been granted conditional bail in court.

Police will allege Vaidus Pundzius was drunk behind the wheel when he was seen driving erratically just after midnight on Wednesday.

Officers said they saw Pundzius slam on his brakes as he passed the intersection of Cawley Street and put his vehicle in reverse, driving backwards until he could turn into the street.

This prompted police to follow the 31-year-old in their unmarked Highway Patrol car.

They activated the vehicle’s warning lights and sirens near Turner Esplanade however Pundzius did not stop, instead doing a sharp U-turn and pulling into a nearby driveway.

Pundzius got out of the vehicle and ran through the front gate of a random property where he attempted open the sliding front door as he threw his keys on the roof of a nearby shed, police claim.

When officers attempted to take hold of Pundzius, who they said reeked of alcohol, he allegedly turned around and punched one of the senior constables, sending him reeling backwards.

The officer received a black eye, swollen cheek and a minor cut to the right side of his face, court documents said.

Meantime, Pundzius was eventually handcuffed and taken back to Wollongong Police Station, however he allegedly refused to be breath tested, at one stage telling police “I’m going to die before I do that”.

He also repeatedly denied any wrong doing and refused to cooperate with police.

Pundzius was charged with failing to submit to a breath test, entering enclosed lands without consent and assaulting police.

He told Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday he had made a “big mistake” and apologised for his actions.

His lawyer, Stewart Holt, said Pundzius had been in the area visiting family and would agree to any conditions imposed by the court if released on bail.

Magistrate Mark Douglass agreed to release Pundzius, but order him to report daily to police, not drink alcohol or take drugs, surrender his passport and live at an address in Wahroonga.

It was a big mistake, I apologise for that

Vaidus Pundzius

The case will return to court in September.