Police taser former army commando

A FORMER army commando with mental health issues had to be tasered by police during a tense stand-off in a suburban Sunshine Coast street.

THE 180cm tall, 120kg former Special Forces officer who served in East Timor was at the centre of a 30-minute confrontation with police at Warana.

Five police crews responded to reports of a man committing self harm inside his home at 3.30pm on Friday and were forced to shut down the residential street as they attempted to talk him into leaving the house.

Police have confirmed he was armed with a knife and bottles during the stand-off and had attempted to strike officers. Two of them ended up with the man’s blood in their eyes and mouth as well as on their bodies.

A police spokeswoman said the man was the only occupant of the house at the time and was attempting self harm when police arrived.

A police negotiator was among the officers sent to the scene.

“He has come outside by smashing his way through the front door and has made out like to strike at police with bottles in hand,” the spokeswoman said.

“He has had bottles in hand, refused to put them down and threatened more self harm.”

A taser was deployed at the heavily bleeding former soldier in what a Queensland Police Union spokesman later described as a “successful deployment”.

The man was not injured in the tasering but was taken to Nambour Hospital to have his self-inflicted wounds treated.

It is believed he was also being assessed by mental health staff.

The officers splattered with his blood were tested and must now wait to be cleared of any blood-borne diseases.

The Australian Defence Force website describes army commandos as highly trained officers who are mentally tough and highly skilled in the use of explosives and close quarter combat.

The Daily understands police learned of the man’s former career through conversations with him during the drama.

Police had received no notification the man lived at the address at the time.

The incident has highlighted concerns about the Australian Defence Force’s care of returning or discharged officers who have served in overseas deployments in combative or hostile environments.

QPU North Coast representative Des Hansson said police were called out “fairly regularly” to deal with volatile situations involving former or serving members of the military.

“We are extremely thankful to have the option of this non-lethal use of force weapon (tasers) in situations where a mentally ill person is having problems,” he said.

“In a perfect world police should not have to be worried about responding to highly trained ex-service men and women who have mental health issues,” Mr Hansson said.

“The average person who threatens to harm a police officer with a knife or, say, fuel, is just as dangerous to police.”

The Department of Defence was contacted by the Daily but a spokesman last night said no comment would be available until today, at the earliest.