Cooly cops bashed -- Policewoman attacked in main street mayhem

By NEELIMA CHOAHAN

THREE police officers had to be hospitalised after being injured in two separate violent incidents in Coolangatta on Thursday.

The attacks within a six-hour period, with a policewoman being one of the victims.

In the first incident, Coolangatta police were forced to use a taser gun after being , before it even turned dark called to control 46-year-old Gary Paul Dignam, who was causing a disturbance in Miles Street at 5.35pm.

But Dignam, of Coolangatta, became aggressive and began struggling, injuring Const Jamie Luxford's hand.

The officers resorted to using a stun-gun, but Dignam had to be hit five times with the taser before an arrest could be made. Dignam was charged with serious assault and obstructing police.

As he was unable to attend Southport Magistrate's court yesterday, his case was adjourned until Monday. Const Luxford was taken to hospital for treatment.

Several hours later at 10.45pm, two police officers, including a policewoman, were bashed as they tried to arrest two brothers, Darren George McKinnon, 38, and Jason Alexander McKinnon, 36, for unruly behaviour outside the Sands Hotel in Griffith Street.

During the arrest, Darren kicked Const Michael Chambers in the face, bruising his jaw, before tackling policewoman Donica Gordon to the ground, falling on her, cutting her knee and bruising her lower back.

The brothers, from Kirra, were taken into custody after more police arrived. The injured officers were admitted to hospital.

Darren was charged with two counts of seri-%ous assault, public nuisance and obstructing police. His brother was charged with public nuisance and a failure to appear on another matter. The McKinnons appeared in Southport Magistrate's Court yesterday. Their case was adjourned until October 17 and they were released on reporting and residential conditions.



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