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Dickson chainsaw wielding bandit on a spree

By 28 March 2013 56

ACT Policing has arrested a 34-year-old Dickson man after he entered a commercial premises on Cowlishaw Street, Greenway brandishing a running chainsaw.

Around 3.40pm this afternoon (March 28), police attended Flax House after receiving numerous Triple Zero (000) reports that a man entered the premise armed with a running chainsaw and caused extensive damage.

Due to public safety concerns, Flax House was evacuated while police responded to the incident.
A short time later, Tuggeranong General Duties officers took the man into custody. The man has been conveyed to the ACT Watch House where he will be charged with burglary-related offences.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident and hasn’t already spoken to police, or has information which may assist police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via www.act.crimestoppers.com.au.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]

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56 Responses to Dickson chainsaw wielding bandit on a spree
#31
IrishPete9:25 am, 30 Mar 13

So many giggles in this thread, which is a bit guilt-inducing given the subject matter, and the fear the people in workplace must have gone experienced.

But why is he obviously mentally ill? I have a bit of experience in this field, and sane people sometimes wield chainsaws too. His mother says he is mentally ill, but mothers will often say that, unwilling to accept that their offspring is just bad. (Of course we have our prior knowledge of the ACT Mental Health system to draw on, which pushes the scales in one particular direction.)

I note he was taken off to face court, not hospital for psychiatric assessment, but we shouldn’t even infer too much from that, as the police aren’t expert mental heath triage workers.

So not knowing the circumstances of this case, I can’t say which is true, so I’m going to keep an open mind for now.

IP

#32
BimboGeek10:35 am, 30 Mar 13

It comes down to the difference between “insanity” which is a legal term of diminished responsibility and “mental illness” which is a medical term of suffering.

I don’t like it because anyone who commits a crime must have some problem to deal with and neatly dividing the minority off for mental health parole while sending most for punishment doesn’t help anyone to find a law abiding place in society.

They may just be unhappy or they may be hearing voices. They may have a vomit worthy paraphilia. So fix the problem.

Yeah maybe sane people wield chainsaws. But healthy people don’t.

#33
AsparagusSyndrome3:04 pm, 30 Mar 13

ScienceRules said :

goggles13 said :

how does an ex-employee get past security with a chainsaw?

Clearly we must equip all security personnel with TWO chainsaws. It’s the only rational response.

I agree. And we should start the National Chainsaw Association, and advocate that every adult should have the right to own a chainsaw and carry it in public. Oh, wait, we already can do that.

OK… then… carry on as you were.

#34
Roundhead893:42 pm, 30 Mar 13

ScienceRules said :

goggles13 said :

how does an ex-employee get past security with a chainsaw?

Clearly we must equip all security personnel with TWO chainsaws. It’s the only rational response.

Are you from the National Rifle Association?

#35
Roundhead893:44 pm, 30 Mar 13

Damn! Someone got in before me with the NRA reference. It’s the quick and the dead here, if you’ll pardon the expression ;)

#36
AsparagusSyndrome4:09 pm, 30 Mar 13

Roundhead89 said :

Damn! Someone got in before me with the NRA reference. It’s the quick and the dead here, if you’ll pardon the expression ;)

Sorry to cut in on you like that … so to speak

#37
IrishPete9:42 am, 31 Mar 13

Apparently the Magistrate thought, or someone else in court convinced the Magistrate, this gent required a mental health assessment – http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/mental-check-after-attack-with-chainsaw-20130330-2h0p9.html – if the hospital decides otherwise he’ll be returned to police, the watchhouse and court, and probably thence to AMC. Depending on how quickly the hospital returns him to police, he could end up in AMC before returning to court.

Incidentally, an acquaintance of mine has a major grudge against a well-known hardware store because they sold his wife hose and tape which she then used to run from her car exhaust into the boot (hatchback) and kill herself. As noted by others, hardware stores’ checkouts are not staffed by experienced mental health workers.

IP

#38
LumpySpacePrincess2:42 pm, 31 Mar 13

IrishPete said :

Apparently the Magistrate thought, or someone else in court convinced the Magistrate, this gent required a mental health assessment – http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/mental-check-after-attack-with-chainsaw-20130330-2h0p9.html – if the hospital decides otherwise he’ll be returned to police, the watchhouse and court, and probably thence to AMC. Depending on how quickly the hospital returns him to police, he could end up in AMC before returning to court.

Incidentally, an acquaintance of mine has a major grudge against a well-known hardware store because they sold his wife hose and tape which she then used to run from her car exhaust into the boot (hatchback) and kill herself. As noted by others, hardware stores’ checkouts are not staffed by experienced mental health workers.

IP

AMC?
He has a long history of mental instability. If you look him up on Facebook you can see he left a public post just minutes before the incident that sounds quite threatening.

If someone wants to hurt themselves or others there are a myriad of tools they can use. It’s not possible to restrict people from accessing everything and anything that could be used to cause physical harm. He needed medical intervention well before this happened.

#39
Flossie8:01 pm, 31 Mar 13

We’re was the CATT team??? This was a perfect opportunity to suggest a warm bath and a cup of tea as something to assist a person in great distress. Could have made all the difference.

Mental health services in this town are disgustingly inadequate.

#40
IrishPete9:12 pm, 31 Mar 13

He’s posting on Facebook from a psychiatric ward? Oh dear…

IP

#41
IrishPete9:20 pm, 31 Mar 13

Flossie said :

We’re was the CATT team??? This was a perfect opportunity to suggest a warm bath and a cup of tea as something to assist a person in great distress. Could have made all the difference.

Mental health services in this town are disgustingly inadequate.

Eh? MH services may be inadequte, but CATT don’t have chainsaw-proof clothing. As soon as there’s the hint of violence, or the need for force to be used to restrain someone, it’s a police job. Not the fire brigade, not the ambulance service, and not the mental health service. Though they might get involved once the risk of violence is gone.

Incidentally, I’ve seen nothing in this guy’s behaviour (nor on his Facebook page) that couldn’t be explained by a chip on his shouler and a big problem with alcohol. Have seen dozens of people like that.

IP

#42
Pork Hunt9:26 pm, 31 Mar 13

IrishPete said :

He’s posting on Facebook from a psychiatric ward? Oh dear…

IP

I think you will find that the facebook posting (referred to in #38) was made on Thursday BEFORE the event. Having read the post on his facebook it would seem that he was expecting to cause casualties.

#43
IrishPete9:27 am, 01 Apr 13

Pork Hunt said :

IrishPete said :

He’s posting on Facebook from a psychiatric ward? Oh dear…

IP

I think you will find that the facebook posting (referred to in #38) was made on Thursday BEFORE the event. Having read the post on his facebook it would seem that he was expecting to cause casualties.

Some people on RiotACT really test my resolve not to descend to personal abuse…

Pork Hunt – he also posted at 1.07pm and 1.08pm on Saturday, perhaps with a hint of pride in what he did.

IP

#44
LumpySpacePrincess9:48 am, 01 Apr 13

Pork Hunt said :

IrishPete said :

He’s posting on Facebook from a psychiatric ward? Oh dear…

IP

I think you will find that the facebook posting (referred to in #38) was made on Thursday BEFORE the event. Having read the post on his facebook it would seem that he was expecting to cause casualties.

Yes it was before the event, but if you look at the comments you’ll see he added a link to the news report on the incident.

#45
Flossie10:05 am, 01 Apr 13

IrishPete said :

Flossie said :

We’re was the CATT team??? This was a perfect opportunity to suggest a warm bath and a cup of tea as something to assist a person in great distress. Could have made all the difference.

Mental health services in this town are disgustingly inadequate.

Eh? MH services may be inadequte, but CATT don’t have chainsaw-proof clothing. As soon as there’s the hint of violence, or the need for force to be used to restrain someone, it’s a police job. Not the fire brigade, not the ambulance service, and not the mental health service. Though they might get involved once the risk of violence is gone.

Incidentally, I’ve seen nothing in this guy’s behaviour (nor on his Facebook page) that couldn’t be explained by a chip on his shouler and a big problem with alcohol. Have seen dozens of people like that.

IP

IP I was being snide about the mental health system in the ACT. Family members of this bloke have commented on the problems they have had with mental health services spanning two years. I have family members who have been collecting the ingredients for a well researched death and, when discovered, the CATT team have recommended a warm drink or a warm bath as a suitable intervention. I have been told by other relatives of people with significant mental illness that warm liquids seems to be quite the panacea. Maybe, if the kettle had been put on just a little bit sooner, this incredibly serious event may not have happened?

#46
incredulousandridicu1:11 pm, 01 Apr 13

IrishPete said :

Flossie said :

We’re was the CATT team??? This was a perfect opportunity to suggest a warm bath and a cup of tea as something to assist a person in great distress. Could have made all the difference.

Mental health services in this town are disgustingly inadequate.

Eh? MH services may be inadequte, but CATT don’t have chainsaw-proof clothing. As soon as there’s the hint of violence, or the need for force to be used to restrain someone, it’s a police job. Not the fire brigade, not the ambulance service, and not the mental health service. Though they might get involved once the risk of violence is gone.

Incidentally, I’ve seen nothing in this guy’s behaviour (nor on his Facebook page) that couldn’t be explained by a chip on his shouler and a big problem with alcohol. Have seen dozens of people like that.

IP

CATT is a bonafide disgrace. I have a good friend who tried to get his friend assessed after she started cutting herself so bad the wounds became infected and they wanted none of it. She was admitted and discharged the next day, at which point he called them again (she was self-harming again) and was ignored. This went on for two weeks and she was hospitalised some four or five times.

Several acquaintances recount similar experiences.

A number of people have also told me the staff deal with callers not only brusquely but extremely rudely, even to those simply reporting a friend or loved one’s spiral. I wouldn’t be surprised if CATT has helped lead to twice as many suicide attempts (and suicides) as they have prevented. For all the increased awareness (which is great) the actual hardware of mental health assessment and treatment is abominable.

I’m forever thankful I don’t have something like depression or bipolar disorder. That’s bad enough for a person to deal with without an unfeeling mental health worker making things much worse.

#47
banco1:44 pm, 01 Apr 13

gooterz said :

It would seem mental health needs more funding.

Doesn’t sound much like a burglary at all, sounds more like he had an axe to grind.

Of course the answer to all human problems is more government spending.

#48
Pork Hunt2:49 pm, 01 Apr 13

IrishPete said :

Pork Hunt said :

IrishPete said :

He’s posting on Facebook from a psychiatric ward? Oh dear…

IP

I think you will find that the facebook posting (referred to in #38) was made on Thursday BEFORE the event. Having read the post on his facebook it would seem that he was expecting to cause casualties.

Some people on RiotACT really test my resolve not to descend to personal abuse…

Pork Hunt – he also posted at 1.07pm and 1.08pm on Saturday, perhaps with a hint of pride in what he did.

IP

Happy to be corrected. My bad.

#49
breda3:09 pm, 01 Apr 13

” Of course the answer to all human problems is more government spending.”

Oh yes. And, if somebody with a mental illness goes off the rails, it’s because we are not paying enough taxes.

While I completely comprehend the grief of families of people who come to a sad end because of their illness, realistically, what they want? People can’t be detained against their will, or forced to take medication, unless they are sectioned (which the mental health lobby vigorously opposes in all but the most extreme cases). So, what?

Asking that teams of publicly funded mental health workers be on 24 hour call to have expensive chats with every person who is having a bad day is not only a bottomless pit for taxpayer money, but is not going to cure the underlying condition.

Instead of complaining that current services are a failure, how about telling us what you would regard as a success, how it would change things, and how much it would cost?

#50
Roundhead893:30 pm, 01 Apr 13

banco said :

gooterz said :

It would seem mental health needs more funding.

Doesn’t sound much like a burglary at all, sounds more like he had an axe to grind.

Of course the answer to all human problems is more government spending.

The solution would be either to privatise Mental Health or outsource it to Beyond Blue. I’ve been a client of Mental Health and they’re useless. Any organisation which has the infamous Dr Rajeev Gupta on staff can’t be taken serously.

#51
DrKoresh3:31 pm, 01 Apr 13

Pork Hunt said :

IrishPete said :

Pork Hunt said :

IrishPete said :

He’s posting on Facebook from a psychiatric ward? Oh dear…

IP

I think you will find that the facebook posting (referred to in #38) was made on Thursday BEFORE the event. Having read the post on his facebook it would seem that he was expecting to cause casualties.

Some people on RiotACT really test my resolve not to descend to personal abuse…

Pork Hunt – he also posted at 1.07pm and 1.08pm on Saturday, perhaps with a hint of pride in what he did.

IP

Happy to be corrected. My bad.

Hehehe, I know I often do the same, but I still enjoy seeing people putting their foot in their mouths :D

#52
LumpySpacePrincess4:42 pm, 01 Apr 13

breda said :

” Of course the answer to all human problems is more government spending.”

Oh yes. And, if somebody with a mental illness goes off the rails, it’s because we are not paying enough taxes.

While I completely comprehend the grief of families of people who come to a sad end because of their illness, realistically, what they want? People can’t be detained against their will, or forced to take medication, unless they are sectioned (which the mental health lobby vigorously opposes in all but the most extreme cases). So, what?

Asking that teams of publicly funded mental health workers be on 24 hour call to have expensive chats with every person who is having a bad day is not only a bottomless pit for taxpayer money, but is not going to cure the underlying condition.

Instead of complaining that current services are a failure, how about telling us what you would regard as a success, how it would change things, and how much it would cost?

It’s not just about the person who has a mental illness. In this case, there were threats to innocent people and they were disregarded. All the people in that office now have the memory or the terrifying moment when a man with pure hatred in his eyes was coming at them with a chainsaw. This is far bigger than the individual.

#53
IrishPete6:13 pm, 01 Apr 13

Pork Hunt said :

IrishPete said :

Pork Hunt said :

IrishPete said :

He’s posting on Facebook from a psychiatric ward? Oh dear…

IP

I think you will find that the facebook posting (referred to in #38) was made on Thursday BEFORE the event. Having read the post on his facebook it would seem that he was expecting to cause casualties.

Some people on RiotACT really test my resolve not to descend to personal abuse…

Pork Hunt – he also posted at 1.07pm and 1.08pm on Saturday, perhaps with a hint of pride in what he did.

IP

Happy to be corrected. My bad.

I won’t gloat. Much.

IP

#54
IrishPete6:20 pm, 01 Apr 13

LumpySpacePrincess said :

It’s not just about the person who has a mental illness. In this case, there were threats to innocent people and they were disregarded. All the people in that office now have the memory or the terrifying moment when a man with pure hatred in his eyes was coming at them with a chainsaw. This is far bigger than the individual.

There’s much more than funding. It’s about having the right people working there.

There is a very dismissive attitude in ACT MH to people with personality disorders. As if it isn’t a mental illness. And as if people choose to have a PD (generally it is your childhood experiences that make you that way). This is where they go horribly wrong, because it’s the people with PDs who are the hardest to treat, and I suspect they make up a very large proportion of the suicides in the ACT.

I didn’t like it, I tried to change it, and I suspect that’s why my contract wasn’t renewed – I was causing friction.

IP

#55
LumpySpacePrincess6:56 pm, 01 Apr 13

There’s much more than funding. It’s about having the right people working there.

There is a very dismissive attitude in ACT MH to people with personality disorders. As if it isn’t a mental illness. And as if people choose to have a PD (generally it is your childhood experiences that make you that way). This is where they go horribly wrong, because it’s the people with PDs who are the hardest to treat, and I suspect they make up a very large proportion of the suicides in the ACT.

I didn’t like it, I tried to change it, and I suspect that’s why my contract wasn’t renewed – I was causing friction.

IP

Sorry to hear of your experience IrishPete. I have first hand experience when it comes to PD, both personally and with loved ones.

It’s about fundin and about care providers. Due to a lack of funding and resources, they have no choice but to be very selective with who they’ll pay attention to. They have also obviously underestimated the severity of his condition. The incident in question is only the one that made the news, but the path of destruction left building up to this is nothing to be sneezed at.

As I said, it’s not just about the individual, this is something that affects many people.

#56
IrishPete7:17 pm, 01 Apr 13

LumpySpacePrincess said :

Sorry to hear of your experience IrishPete. I have first hand experience when it comes to PD, both personally and with loved ones.

It’s about fundin and about care providers. Due to a lack of funding and resources, they have no choice but to be very selective with who they’ll pay attention to. They have also obviously underestimated the severity of his condition. The incident in question is only the one that made the news, but the path of destruction left building up to this is nothing to be sneezed at.

As I said, it’s not just about the individual, this is something that affects many people.

It was a few years ago, and as it turned out it was a good career move anyway to be forced to look for something else!

Incidentally, I haven’t diagnosed this guy wth a personality disorder – I don’t know enough about him.

Not even sure I believe that PDs (or at least the most commonly diagnosed ones) are a valid construct. Unfortunately they seem set to remain in DSM-V.

IP

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