Victoria Police officer thrown from reversing car in dramatic video footage

Published by ABC News on 17 August 2020

A man has been arrested after dramatic footage showed a Victoria Police officer being flung in the air from a reversing car.

The officer avoided serious injury, but is now in isolation because of fears he was exposed to coronavirus during the incident.

It is believed the driver later tested positive for COVID-19.

The footage, shared on social media platform TikTok, shows a police officer struggling with a driver before the car starts to reverse.

The officer, trapped by the open car door, was carried by the reversing vehicle and thrown onto the roof of a parked car.

Victoria Police said a 30-year-old St Kilda man was charged after an incident on August 14.

Jahdon Tamati was remanded to Melbourne Magistrates' Court today.

He was charged with aggravated intentional and reckless exposure of a police officer to risk by driving, assaulting police, resisting arrest, theft of a motor vehicle and numerous traffic offences.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said it was believed police spoke to a man on Simmons Street in South Yarra, in Melbourne's inner south, at about 5:15pm.

Police say he fled on foot to the car, which was allegedly stolen.

"Police attempted to stop the man from driving away and a struggle ensued between the driver and both officers," the spokesperson said in a statement.

"The driver allegedly reversed with one of the police officers still clinging to the side of the car, before the officer was thrown into parked cars nearby."

Police allege he fled and dumped the car in Bray Street but was arrested soon after.

The officer received minor injuries, and the driver was taken to hospital for a non-related medical condition and placed under police guard.

Victoria Police said the man was believed to be in breach of the Chief Health Officer's directions and he could be fined.

Wayne Gatt, secretary of the Victorian Police Association, said two officers were now in isolation. It is believed the driver has tested positive to COVID-19.

"Our members are at the frontline of this pandemic, they're out there doing what is business-as-usual policing in a really, really difficult environment," he said.

"They say this is a one-in-100-years event in policing — well some of it is, and some of it's a day in the life of a police officer."

Mr Gatt said the actions were "absolutely reckless" and the two police officers on the scene were lucky not to have suffered more serious injuries.

"This absolutely shows the dangers that our members are exposed to every day," he said.

"I think you just got a little bit of a window into the life of police."

Mr Gatt described the police officer as "quite a stoic sort of fella" who "just wants to bounce back and get on with the job", and praised both officers for their bravery.

A spokesperson from Melbourne Magistrates' Court said Mr Tamati did not apply for bail.

He is due to appear in court on November 2 for a committal mention.