Man sues policeman after bushfire incident

  Man sues policeman after bushfire incident

28 April 2009

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Australia — A man has alleged a policeman drew his service revolver on him as he tried to get back to his home during the Black Saturday bushfires.

Donald Kenneth Carter, of Horsham, is suing Detective Sergeant Steven Walker of Horsham police, saying Walker drew his service revolver at a road block in Horsham on February 7 as he tried to get home to defend it from a bushfire, the Herald Sun newspaper said.

Detective Sergeant Walker intends to defend the matter, which is listed to go before the County Court in Ballarat in June 9, the newspaper said.

It said Carter will claim he was trying to return home when Walker stopped him and told him to go back because of the danger, and that Walker drew his gun in the altercation until another officer stepped in.

Carter’s home survived the fire, which burned more than 5,000ha and razed several buildings nearby.

The State of Victoria is also listed as a defendant in Carter’s legal action.

Carter’s lawyers declined to comment.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the force would meet Walker’s legal costs.

In a separate case, police are subject to legal action after they allowed a man and his son to pass a road block during a bushfire in January 2006 at Pomonal, about 50km from Horsham.

Zeke Wilson, 12, and his father Malcolm, died in their car as the fire jumped the Halls Gap-Pomonal Road.

An inquest was told Wilson, blinded by thick smoke, drove off the road and crashed into a tree before the fire swept in.

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