Spate of attacks on police as Wollongong Hospital ‘thief’ charged

Brad Ainsworth. File picture.
Brad Ainsworth. File picture.

Two police officers have been assaulted in a confrontation with a man who allegedly prowled the surrounds of Wollongong Hospital, breaking into cars and attempting to steal one. 

The incident, Thursday night, is the fourth alleged case of officer assault in the Wollongong district in the past week. 

Police were called to Wollongong Hospital car park about 8pm. 

Police say the owner of one of the cars targeted confronted the man, who then produced a tyre iron and made threats.

Police caught up with the man on New Dapto Road about an hour later. He allegedly had property on him that had been stolen from the cars. 

While in custody he allegedly assaulted the two officers.

He has since been charged with 10 offences, including two counts of assaulting an officer, and is due to appear at court Saturday. 

The incident comes two days after an officer was left with a black eye, swollen cheek and a cut his face in a confrontation with an allegedly drunk driver at Bellambi. 

Vaidus Pundzius was seen driving erratically at East Corrimal just after midnight on Wednesday.

He was arrested after a brief police pursuit, allegedly turning and punching the senior constable, sending him reeling backwards.

On Sunday morning another officer was bitten in an on-the-job confrontation.  

Police allege Giles drove through the Illawarra’s northern suburbs with only a disqualified license, then became agitated and aggressive towards the officers who pulled him over. He was arrested after grappling with the officer on the roadside. 

Detective Inspector Brad Ainsworth, crime manager at Wollongong Police District said:

“It just goes to highlight the dangers of police, that officers are faced with every day,” he said. 

“They’re out there protecting the community, patrolling the streets, and they have to put up with that on top of their normal duties.”