Police have charged a man who allegedly threatened a group of Wombarra holidaymakers with a pretend firearm and told them to “go back to your own country”.
The group included a 10-year-old boy and his 16-year-old brother, who froze, fearing for his life, when the lookalike shotgun barrel was allegedly pointed in his direction.
The foursome – a father, his two sons, and a family friend – parked opposite the beach to go fishing about 6pm Tuesday.
According to a police account of events, Keith Phillip Little, 48, was inside his parked white camper van when he saw the group light a charcoal fire in nearby parkland.
“You can’t have a fire here!” he allegedly told them. “Go back to your own country. I’m part of the fire brigade, you need to leave”.
The boys’ father tried to calm Little but the two were involved in a scuffle. Little allegedly then yelled, “I’m going to get my shotgun and shoot you if you don’t leave”.
He allegedly returned to his camper van and picked up an unused 12-gauge shotgun cartridge and an 80cm-long black pipe. Police allege he held the pipe like a firearm, pointed it at the teen and – standing three metres away – said “I’m going to shoot you”.
The boy’s father wrestled Little to the ground while the teen ran and took cover with his younger brother, and called 000.
Police rushed to the Reef Avenue carpark and arrested Little. He allegedly told police “I tried to scare them”.
He was charged with arming himself with intent to commit an indictable offence, and with possessing ammunition without a license.
He was granted strict conditional bail at Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday. The court heard he was physically unwell and in pain. The matter returns to court January 29.