Glen Innes police officer capsicum sprayed colleague while trying to arrest man

Man convicted of role in King Edward Park brawl

A local man was convicted in court last week over an incident in January that saw one police officer accidentally pepper spray a colleague as they tried to deal with a group of youths.

Richard William Fields, 36, pleaded guilty to three charges relating to the incident on the afternoon of January 6.

The police officer was capsicum sprayed in the face by a colleague in the fight, as the officer grappled with Fields.

While arresting him, court documents show, the pair of police officers were surrounded by youths, and forced to use capsicum spray and a baton to ward them off.

He changed his plea to guilty last Friday.

Fields' role in the incident began around 4.40pm as he approached police dealing with an incident in King Edward Park.


Court documents show he approached the scene while yelling at a pair of police officers, stopping very close to one of them and pulling his phone out.

The officer estimated the phone was one cm away from his face.

Fields also yelled "what are you f*****g dogs doing", yelled threats and remained in close proximity.

The police officer put a hand on his chest and asked him to step backwards, but the abuse continued.

Field shaped up to police as if to punch them, with his chest forward and fist clenched.

The officer conducted repeated check drills to subdue the man, which are a form of strong push to the chest designed to force him to a safe distance. He continued to approach very close, taunting the officer to "fine me c**t, I don't care.

"I'll f*****g flog you c**t."

The officer conducted a check drill again. All told they pushed Fields away five times.

Fields shaped up to him again, and both of them ended up on the ground in a violent struggle as the officer attempted to arrest him.

The second officer sprayed both of them with capsicum spray, blasting both in the face with the painful substance.

Watching the fight, a large group of youths closed in and surrounded the police shouting abuse.

The second officer fired a second short burst of capcicum spray at the youths out of fear they were going to be assaulted.

The officer then shouted "get back" and drew a baton.

From court document it's unclear if any of them were actually injured.

Fields was convicted of a count of behaving in an offensive manner in a public place, intimidating and resisting a police officer. Two more serious charges were dropped.

Magistrate Clare Farnan sentenced Fields to an 18 month community corrections order, which will require him not to commit further offences, to appear before the court if asked and to undergo treatment.