The man will re-appear in court on June 23.
The man will re-appear in court on June 23.

Alleged car thief accused of assaulting officer faces court

A MAN who stands accused of assaulting and injuring an off-duty officer during an alleged attempt to steal the officer's car remains in custody following his court appearance.

Ian Barry Towney, aged 21, appeared at Coffs Harbour Local Court via audio visual link on Tuesday over the alleged incident which occurred in the early hours of May 25.

According to police, a senior officer attached to the Mid North Coast Police District approached his Mitsubishi Triton ute to travel to work from his Sapphire Beach home at around 4.20am before noticing Mr Towney allegedly behind the driver's seat.

The officer attempted to arrest Mr Towney before the 21-year-old allegedly punched and kicked the officer several times and released the vehicle's handbrake, causing it to hit a parked car and a nearby residence.

It is alleged Mr Towney continued to violently struggle but was restrained by the officer, who sustained a fracture to his hand and soft tissue injuries during the arrest,

Officers from the Coffs/Clarence Police District arrived at the scene and searched the vehicle, locating a large hunting knife on the passenger seat.

Mr Towney was taken to Coffs Harbour Health Campus for treatment and upon his release he was taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station and was charged.

He is now facing a total of seven charges including assault police officer in execution of duty and cause actual bodily harm, enter vehicle without consent of owner/occupier, resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty, three counts of destroy or damage property, and enter inclosed land without lawful excuse.

Mr Towney has been in custody since his arrest, and his bail refused status remains unchanged following his court appearance this week.

He will appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court again via audio visual link on June 23.



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