Chase accused ‘high on drugs and armed’, police claim
POLICE will allege a man was high on drugs and armed with a loaded weapon when he led them on a high-speed, "volatile" pursuit yesterday.
Police say they had been tracking Gary Anthony Barker, 37, for two weeks, and the Nissan X-Trail they allege he stole had been spotted at various locations across the Coast, including Sunshine Plaza.
A public tip-off about 2pm alerted police to Mr Barker's whereabouts in Glenview and officers attempted to cordon him off. Specialist officers were also called in.
Police allege Mr Barker became suspicious and took evasive action to flee from more than 20 pursuing officers, leading them along Nicklin Way through a school zone and into oncoming traffic.
Detective Senior Sergeant| officer-in-charge Daren Edwards said 30 minutes later and the situation would have become even more dangerous.
"He was a significant risk to police and members of the community. Him being under the influence of drugs and a loaded firearm is a dangerous mix to have," Snr Sgt Edwards said.
"The 22 calibre rifle had been previously discharged, not necessarily yesterday, but it had damaged the car. So it was a pretty volatile situation."
Police deployed tyre deflation devices at Currimundi to stop the vehicle of which Mr Barker is alleged to have been driving.
Eyewitness video captured the moment officers swarmed the stationary vehicle, pulling the driver out and wrestling him to the ground.
The driver's face was scratched in the melee with blood left on the ground as he continued to struggle.
Snr Sgt Edwards praised the actions of members of public for making the roadways clear, particularly along Nicklin Way. near Kawana State College.
"It was getting to the stage of day that traffic was really increasing busy, 30 minutes later and it would have been much more dangerous," he said.
"My understanding is (the driver) took several evasive actions and we saw it as a need to stop the vehicle as soon as possible."
Mr Barker was charged with one count each of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, dangerous operation of a vehicle and adversely affected by an intoxicating substance, unlawful possession of a firearm in public, possession of ammunition, evasion and driving a motor vehicle without a drivers licence.
He appeared briefly in Maroochydore Magistrates Court this morning.
Lawyer Kristen Santoso said she had taken a Legal Aid application and did not apply for bail on Mr Barker's behalf.
He is required to appear via video link when the matter returns to court on September 4.