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Assistant Commissioner Graham Rynders says rampaging Gold Coast bikies acted outside gang control

UNDER CONTROL: Assistant commissioner Graham Rynders says the Gold Coast?s bikie problem is in hand. Picture: Tim Marsden

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 him.

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 the ambulance.

``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 Coast".

"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 results".

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 Finks gang.

"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 and robbery.

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.


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