A Sydney driver who terrorised an off-duty police officer in a shocking act of road rage along Picton Road has been banned from getting behind the wheel for 12 months.
Wipahure Michael Tapine picked the wrong driver to mess with on the afternoon of March 27, 2018, when he engaged in a sustained display of aggressive driving towards the police officer, who was on his way home after finishing a shift at Wollongong Police Station.
A set of agreed facts tendered to Wollongong Local Court recently said the officer merged into Tapine's lane at least 250m in front of his light rigid truck, however Tapine flew into a fit of rage, believing the officer had cut him off.
He began travelling so close to the back of the vehicle the officer said he could not see the truck's number plate or into the cabin through his rear vision mirror.
The officer twice increased his speed in a bid to create a safe gap between the vehicles but both times Tapine also sped up. At one stage, the officer activated his rear reversing sensor which started beeping, indicating Tapine was travelling within one metre of the officer's car.
Eventually, the officer waved his arm at Tapine in an attempt to signal to Tapine that he was travelling at an unsafe distance.
Tapine responded by waving his arms, sounding the truck's horn and flashing his lights.
As the two vehicles approached the turn-off to the Wilton township, Tapine pulled his truck into the slip lane and up next to the officer's car. He began abusing the victim then veered towards him, causing the officer to have to swerve to avoid a collision.
Both vehicles came to a stop at the traffic lights near the Hume Highway interchange, however at the last moment, Tapine pulled his truck partially into the adjoining lane where the officer's vehicle was stationary.
"You f--king idiot, you cut me off you f--king p--fter," Tapine yelled.
The officer responded "what are you talking about, you're a f--king danger on the road. Picton Road is already dangerous enough without a lunatic like you driving on it".
Tapine replied "you're f--king gone, get out of the car you f--king p--fter".
The officer removed the sleeve of his jacket to indicate he was an off-duty policeman in a bid to de-escalate the situation, however Tapine refused to back down.
"I don't give a f--k who you are you f--king p--fter, let's get out of the car you f--king dickhead, you can't f--king do anything to me," Tapine yelled, before driving off and onto the Hume Highway when the lights turned green.
The officer noted down the name of the company and the phone number printed on the side of the truck. He subsequently reported the incident to fellow officers in Wollongong.
Tapine was spoken to at his home in Doonside on May 6 and issued with a notice to attend court.
He subsequently pleaded guilty in court to charges of menacing driving, intimidation and driving with an expired licence.
He was fined a total of $3,960 and had his licence disqualified for 12 months.