Man, 65, punched police in face at scene of fire

A MAN who punched a police officer in the face when he was told not to walk through a police cordon during a house fire has been placed on a good behaviour bond.

Jose Garcia, 65, yesterday pleaded guilty at the Ipswich Magistrates Court to three counts of assaulting or obstructing police.

The court heard police on August 9 cordoned off an area of Queen St in Goodna following a large house fire.

The incident was considered so dangerous that residents of nearby houses were also evacuated.

Police noticed Garcia walking inside the cordoned- off area and told him to leave.

Garcia refused to leave the area, with the officer noting Garcia spoke with a strong Spanish accent and questioning how much English he understood.

The officer then put his hand on Garcia to attempt to tell him where to move to.

Garcia reacted violently to the touch, yelling, "Don't touch me," and swinging out to punch the officer in the chin with a haymaker.

He was then restrained but police decided not to handcuff him due to his age.

However, as Garcia was being escorted away from the area by another officer, he began to struggle and tried to free himself.

Eventually the officer was forced to wrestle Garcia to the ground and cuff him.

The court heard Garcia was walking to the shops on his daily walk from Redbank Plains to Goodna when he came across the cordon.

He didn't understand what it was for, didn't know why the officer was telling him to leave the area and was frustrated with not being able to finish his daily routine.

Garcia was placed on a $400 good behaviour bond for three months.



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