UNDER CONTROL: Assistant commissioner
Graham Rynders says the Gold Coast's bikie problem is in
hand. Picture: Tim Marsden
THE Gold Coast's top cop insists his
troops have Glitter Strip bikies under control despite another
wave of violence involving outlaw motorcycle gang members.
A Bandidos bikie just out of jail was arrested
yesterday after a wild rampage through Southport during which a taxi
was shot up, a milk truck hijacked and a bus driver assaulted.
It came three days after a 61-year-old bystander
was bashed during a street brawl between Finks and Nomads bikies at
the Cooly Rocks On nostalgia festival at Coolangatta.
South Eastern police region Assistant Commissioner
Graham Rynders admitted it was lucky no-one was more seriously hurt
during the Southport incident which he described as "mayhem".
He said the cabbie, milkman and bus driver were
all allegedly assaulted and a passenger in the taxi ran for his life
as bullets were fired from a sawn-off shotgun, one blasting a hole
in the cab's rear windscreen.
Turkish-born Brian Tekbiyik who also goes under
the name of Brian Herald, was driving two tattooed customers through
Southport around 2.15am when a back seat passenger began threatening
He said he was suddenly blinded temporarily and
deafened by a gun blast that shattered his windshield.
The terrified 12-year taxi veteran pulled over and
ran for cover as the gunman got out and fired again at the taxi.
Mr Tekbiyik was taken to hospital in shock and
told the Gold Coast Bulletin he cried in relief when he was inside
``I was shaking, I was seeing coloured stars and
in the ambulance I was crying, just crying,'' he said.
``I am very happy to still be alive.''
A dog squad officer was also allegedly assaulted
during the violent arrest in which bikie Leonard Toalei, who was on
parole for another violent crime spree, was tasered several times
after allegedly crashing the milk truck.
But Mr Rynders said the Bandidos bikie and a Finks
member arrested over the Coolangatta brawl were both "associates"
acting as individuals rather than as a gang.
"These incidents in Southport are not
bikie-related. There is no bikie-related incident at all,'' he said.
"The person arrested over the Coolangatta incident
also acted as an individual. He is an associate of an outlaw
motorcycle gang but he is not a fully-patched member of that gang.''
Mr Rynders said there was "no doubt that there is
a significant presence of outlaw motorcycle gang members on the Gold
"They are a small group in relative terms (but)
unfortunately they have a view that they are above the law, or some
of them certainly do,'' he said.
"They have become a priority for us in our
policing endeavours and we continue to have a significant focus on
them and their activities.''
However, Mr Rynders said police were "adequately
resourced" to deal with the bikies and were achieving "significant
But Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate admitted he was
concerned about the image of the city, which was branded Australia's
crime capital in a recent BBC documentary highlighting the powerful
"Violence of any kind is unacceptable and its
frustrating to see these incidents detract from our fantastic city,"
Cr Tate said.
"Policing is a state responsibility but my door is
open to police and their suggestions about how we can play a role."
Speaking on the Gold Coast, federal Opposition
leader Tony Abbott said the Coast had become a focus for bikie gangs
and a Coalition government would look at ways of bringing gangs
"under better control".
Toalei was charged with offences including
discharging a weapon in a public place, going armed so as to cause
fear, assaults occasioning bodily harm, serious assault of police
He was deemed too great a security risk to appear
in court yesterday but is expected to appear today.
Toalei was released on parole in April after
serving two months of an 18-month sentence for shooting up a Surfers
Paradise unit, biting and bashing its female occupant and
obstructing a prison officer during a jail uprising he incited.