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SA Police officer facing assault charge over arrest of ‘spitter’

The Advertiser 2019-08-14 08:59:00

SA Police are considering charging one of their own with assault because he punched a man who allegedly spat on him during an arrest, a court has heard.

Lawyers for Clarence Rahana Sydney Yates have told the Christies Beach Magistrates Court their client’s assistance had been sought, by police, in their investigation.

Yates, 22, of Morphett Vale, has yet to plead to three counts of marking graffiti, two counts of assaulting police and one count each of resisting police and disorderly behaviour.

Police are also seeking to have the court enforce the conditions of a previous good behaviour bond imposed upon Yates, alleging the new charges have breached it.

The charges arise from an incident last month, video footage of which was posted online.

In the video, a handcuffed man – alleged to be Yates – appears to spit at a male police officer before being punched with a closed fist to the side of the head.

The officer and two colleagues then wrestle the man to the ground.

After the video was posted, police confirmed they had arrested a man on Woodcroft Drive, Morphett Vale, following reports of three people vandalising a sign.

On Tuesday, Stacey Carter, for Yates, asked the matter be adjourned to a pre-trial conference.

“This is a matter I’ve written to prosecution about … the charges will be contested,” she said.

“The police have contacted me, on behalf of my client, as they are investigating the police officer for an alleged assault against my client during the incident.”

Magistrate Sue O’Connor remanded Yates on continuing bail to face court again in September.