An unemployed repeat traffic offender has been refused bail after allegedly ramming his car into a police officer during a dramatic arrest in a Woolworths carpark.
Both Sam David McLennan, 25, and Miguel David, 24, will remain behind bars after they were arrested in front of stunned onlookers in Neutral Bay, on the Lower North Shore, about 4.20pm on Monday.
Police allege McLennan accelerated toward a senior constable and sent him ‘flying five metres’ while he was attempting to make an arrest on David over drug matters.
Both men appeared in Manly Local Court on Tuesday, where lawyers for McLennan applied for bail.
McLennan is facing charges of driving recklessly or in a dangerous manner and using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention.
Pictured: McLennan as he was arrested by police at Woolworths in Neutral Bay on Monday afternoon
Police also arrested Miguel David (pictured in the black shirt) on Monday afternoon
His co-accused, David, has been charged with possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely heroin, and dealing with identity information to commit an indictable offence.
At the time of his arrest, he was found in possession of two New South Wales drivers’ licences that did not belong to him, 1.2g of methlyamphetamines and a commercial quantity of heroin.
Cara Maynard, McLennan’s lawyer, told the court that despite the 25-year-old’s extensive driving record and criminal history, he did not pose an unnecessary risk to the community.
Police opposed bail, arguing that he posed an unacceptable risk and that previous criminal matters indicate he has a disregard for the law and court made orders.
McLennan was subject to an intensive corrections order until as recently as August last year.
He lives with his mum in Sans Souci and does not have a job. Court documents reveal police have reason to believe he has ties to ‘organised crime groups’.
Police claim McLennan was with his co-accused at about 4.10pm on Monday afternoon when officers recognised David and approached his silver Toyota Camry, driven by McLennan.
They indicated they would arrest David on drug matters when McLennan allegedly ‘accelerated his car’ toward a senior constable on the scene.
‘The officer was so fearful for his safety that he had to discharge his firearm,’ the court heard.
Several bullets were fired into the front and rear of the car.
Police allege McLennan still did not stop and rammed his car into a bollard in the car park before allegedly attempting to flee on foot.
He was then arrested alongside David.
The detective suffered minor injuries to his legs, elbows and wrists from the ordeal but he did not need medical treatment.
McLennan faces 12 years in jail if convicted on the charges.
Madison Sullivan, who was only 10 metres away from the scene when gunshots were fired, told Daily Mail Australia her ‘heart was racing’ as the arrest unfolded in front of her.
Pictured: McLennan being taken away after allegedly ramming an officer with his car
Pictured: The moment an undercover cop jumped out of a vehicle and yelled ‘police, police’
Footage captured by the 27-year-old showed the moment the undercover cop jumped out of his car and screamed ‘police, police!’ while flashing his badge.
‘It was quite scary. I heard a big loud bang which sounded like a car exploded and I turned around and saw a man shoot another two times at the moving car,’ she said.
Ms Maynard told the court her client would be willing to submit to drug and alcohol testing regularly and suggested his bail conditions could include not being permitted to leave his house without his mother or contact his co-accused.
But the magistrate agreed that given his extensive criminal history and ‘shocking driving record’, he posed an unacceptable threat.
‘Clearly he’s a danger on the road, this young man,’ the magistrate said. ‘When one looks at the overall record it shows a person who has no regard for public safety at all.’
McLennan will reappear in court via audio visual link on April 29.
His co-accused, David, did not apply for bail. David’s matter will be heard separately on June 10.
Pictured: Police cars outside a Woolworths in Neutral Bay, after gunshots were fired