Levels of irony that should not be possible:
“Transit and Public Safety Command Assistant Commissioner Chris O’Neill was attacked about 5:30pm on Saturday in the grounds of St Kevin’s College, near a railway station in Toorak, in the city’s inner east.
He was kicked and punched in the head and chest, and taken to hospital with two broken ribs, head injuries and possible kidney damage as well as bruises and cuts.
He was released from hospital on Monday.
Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill said his colleague, who suffered bleeding around the brain, was expected to make a full recovery from the “abhorrent” attack. The attack, which was not captured on CCTV, occurred after two brothers were removed from a Glen Waverley train by authorised transit officers, Assistant Commissioner Hill said.
“Their antisocial behaviour included vomiting and urinating in the carriage, so they were, as I understand, evicted from the train at Heyington,” he said.
“That’s where, unfortunately, Chris crossed paths with [the] two of them.”
He said Assistant Commissioner O’Neill was off duty and did not identify himself as a police officer when he encountered the two men.
“The encounter is still a little bit vague to us,” he said.
“There’s been a verbal altercation and then a physical altercation between Chris and the two males.”
Now hopefully Assistant Commissioner O’Neill is ok, however this crime is just another day in the life of Melbourne and indeed, Australia. Here we have a case of an off-duty Police Commissioner, sans personal defensive equipment, attacked by two people and unable to do anything about it.
An older gentleman against two younger violent attackers is rarely going to come off best, and to be honest, he should not have to entertain the prospect of going unarmed against these two thugs in the first place. Had he had even so much as a pepper spray, the tide may have turned or at least allowed him to buy some time to escape. But under Australian laws, he’s essentially a legally enforced victim like the rest of us when not in uniform.
It’s often said that things won’t change on the self-defence front until someone from the Police or political class is the victim of this kind of violence. It’s likely that not much will change in this context except Police efforts to prosecute the two perpetrators of this cowardly act.
This is also from an organisation that has recently made patronising statements about men needing to “change their behaviour” and have told people to “just be compliant” when being attacked in their homes or in public.
Do you think Assistant Commissioner O’Neill would be taking Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana’s advice to just be compliant next time?
Sorry Victoria Police, but you can’t actively lobby against the public protecting themselves from violent crime and then cry foul when it happens to you. A culture change is needed on this front.
You’re just as vulnerable as the public is.