May 29th, 2016
A St Kilda footy fan is accused of putting a policeman in hospital after losing his son at last Saturday’s match at Etihad Stadium.
David Mark Dow, 41, of Warrnambool allegedly went ballistic after police questioned him about how he came to lose his son in the 17,000-strong crowd.
Mr Dow had been a special guest of the Saints at their clash with Fremantle, which included him being granted access into the change rooms after the game.
But the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard Mr Dow — who was still dressed in his Saints polo — snapped after his son was found by police partially naked in the women’s toilets.
He has been charged with intentionally causing injury to a police officer, assaulting police, leaving a child without proper supervision and other related assault charges.
Detective Sen-Constable Dianne Dale said the boy, who had special needs, came to police attention after a “toilet mishap”.
When his father approached police 30 minutes later he was allegedly belligerent and grabbed a constable by the neck in a pinch hold.
Sen-Constable Dale said the officer couldn’t breath for up to 10 seconds as Mr Dow used his son as a shield.
The officer spent the night in hospital with injuries to his neck.
Sen-Constable Dale told the court Mr Dow repeatedly threatened to kill police, calling them “maggots” and spitting at one.
It took six officers to remove Mr Dow to a waiting brawler van, which he allegedly attacked while being conveyed to the police station.
Sen-Constable Dale said Mr Dow continued his abuse at the station, telling a bail justice to “Go fuck himself”.
In opposing bail, Prosecutor Sen-Constable David Lee said police feared Mr Dow would “wreak havoc” on the community if released.
“His attitude is just appalling,” he said. “He’s an unacceptable risk to the public.”
Mr Dow’s lawyer argued his client was upset after losing his child and denied he used him as a shield.
“The boy threw himself into his arms,” he claimed.
He said Mr Dow snapped after police aggressively approached him about his son.
Magistrate Alan Spillane said it was likely Mr Dow was upset because he had lost a special-needs child under his care.
“It was completely over the top,” he said.
Mr Spillane said although the angry dad faced a prison sentence, he was unlikely to pose an immediate threat to the public.
“I don’t think there is any real evidence he’s a risk to the community,” he said.
Mr Dow was bailed to face a Warrnambool court on July 11.
– Wayne Flower