31 December: It was rubberneckers who caused the most problems for officers when a group of men surrounded a Gold Coast police station and pelted it with projectiles early Tuesday morning.
Police said the violence broke out after two men were arrested for fighting in Orchid Avenue early Tuesday morning, no more than 30 metres from the Surfers Paradise police station.
The arresting officers said they were followed back to the station on Orchid Avenue by a large group of men, who they described as ‘‘verbally abusive and extremely aggressive’’. Inspector Tracy Dale said the crowd gathered outside the station and began throwing cans and other projectiles at the officers. One person threw a shoe towards the station.
‘‘The police, from an officer safety perspective, then withdrew and gathered at the police station and awaited assistance from further units,’’ Inspector Dale told ABC News. Officers guarded the doors to the station until reinforcements arrived.
A 22-year-old man from Melbourne was arrested after allegedly biting a police officer during the ruckus but has been released on bail. Two other officers also suffered minor injuries. Eight men, aged from 20 to 32, have been charged over the riot for various offences, including serious assault and public nuisance.
Police said the young people involved were not linked to any outlaw motorcycle gangs, unlike the September riot outside the Southport Watchhouse, which followed the bikie brawl at a Broadbeach tapas restaurant.
‘‘This wasn’t an organised group. This was just a group of revellers who were out in Orchid Avenue, which has some 12 or so … nightclubs,’’ Acting Chief Superintendent Des Lacy said.
‘‘It was a group of people who should have moved on but were very interested to watch the police taking action. ‘‘It seems to be some sort of entertainment for some people to watch the police arrest and struggle with a violent drunken offender. So the message there is, if you are one of those people who enjoys that sort of thing, find another interest.’’