Police assault: Whitsundays man lashes out
A WHITSUNDAYS man who caught the attention of police three times in two days ended his run-in with the law with a serious assault on a police officer.
Gieren Robert Gabatel, 27, appeared in custody in Proserpine Magistrates Court, previously pleading guilty for serious assault of a police officer by spitting, obstructing a police officer, wilful damage and committing a public nuisance.
The court heard Gabatel started a series of events with Whitsunday police on April 3 at 3.45am.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors said Gabatel caught the attention of police when he waved them down and walked in front of a car on the Bruce Highway in Proserpine.
Sgt Myors said police spoke with Gabatel at the time and he became verbally aggressive, telling police to "f--- off” and "giving police a one-figure gesture”.
He was arrested and taken to the Whitsunday Police Station where he blew .155 about 90 minutes after being arrested.
Later that day, at 8pm, police were called to an address in Airlie Beach where Gabatel was throwing and smashing items, and had punched a hole in a wall inside the dwelling and in two doors.
Police were then called to a third incident with Gabatel about 4am on April 4, when the Queensland Ambulance Service requested assistance when dealing with him.
Police accompanied paramedics in the ambulance while Gabatel was lying on a stretcher, but he became agitated, pulling a nearby police office over himself and spitting on the officer's mouth.
Magistrate James Morton said spitting on a police officer was deemed a serious offence by the courts, where a term of imprisonment would be the starting point of Gabatel's punishment.
"Spitting is absolutely disgraceful - police were called to see you three times, and this is how you respond. It's disgraceful,” Mr Morton said.
Gabatel was sentenced to four months' imprisonment for spitting at a police officer and ordered to serve an operational period of two months.
He was also convicted of causing a public nuisance, wilful damage and obstructing a police office, but not further punished.