Kiwi uses snake as weapon in police stand-off

By Nikkii Joyce of the Sunshine Coast Daily

A New Zealander in Australia allegedly used a carpet python to threaten police. Photo / Thinkstock
A New Zealander in Australia allegedly used a carpet python to threaten police. Photo / Thinkstock

A Kiwi is facing a string of charges after allegedly threatening police with a large snake during a bizarre stand-off on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

The man, reportedly from Masterton, was arrested after police claimed he threatened them with the 1.5 metre-long snake at the scene of a motor vehicle accident in Maroochydore on Saturday.

Stunned passersby and staff from nearby businesses watched in amazement as the three-vehicle crash took an unexpected twist and reached bizarre heights shortly after 9.45am.

Police said a heavyset 178cm New Zealander, who was not involved in the crash, walked straight into the action of emergency services with a Murray Darling carpet python draped across his shoulders.

They said the 29-year-old then attempted to throw the 50mm-wide snake through the window of a police car and on to a male officer sitting in the vehicle.

Witnesses said the man was verbally abusive throughout the incident, shouting expletives at police officers before leaving on foot with the mellow snake still draped around his shoulders.

They said the barefoot man also waved the snake in the faces of several onlookers.

A second police crew called to the crash ran after the reptile-wielding man and a scuffle broke out before he was subdued.

"Police attempted to grab the man who was verbally abusive, but the snake got in the way," a police spokesman said.

"One of the police officers grabbed the snake and lobbed it about 10 metres away."

Both officers were able to detain the suspect without the use of a Taser or capsicum spray.

The police spokesman said a male friend of the man, who was close by, collected the snake and was able to confirm the man in custody had a permit for the reptile.

The Murray Darling carpet python is non-venomous and can grow to about 2.5 metres.

They are a popular choice for people wanting to keep a snake as a pet, because of their placid nature.

Police said the snake was not harmed in the incident and was recovering well.

The New Zealander was charged with assaulting police, obstructing police and being a public nuisance.

He was released on bail and will appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court next week.

- From the Sunshine Coast Daily online

- APNZ

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