Families heading to the Tuggeranong mall to shop or have lunch froze in shock when a plumber allegedly tried to stab a man in the throat in front of them.
According to court documents, after James Gary Taylor was arrested, he admitted to police that he had been in a fight with the other man and said he wished he had stabbed him in the jugular.
The documents show the 24-year-old Chisholm man had gone to the South.Point Shopping Centre on 24 June 2021, where he spotted his alleged victim at about 12:00 pm and began to follow him.
When they were halfway down an escalator, Taylor caught the man’s attention and said, “let’s sort this sh-t out”.
He continued to follow him until they were outside the Rebel Sports store. He allegedly pulled a Stanley knife with a 5 cm blade out of his pocket and attempted to stab the man in the face.
Police alleged Taylor adopted a “fighting stance” and walked towards the man, slashing at him.
He allegedly cut the man on the cheek and neck, causing a 10 cm knife wound, and also sliced his finger.
Police also said Taylor attempted to “plunge” the blade of the boxcutter into the man’s neck.
“While this altercation is occurring, there are a large number of members of the public standing only metres away. This included parents, children and elderly members of the public, most of whom can be seen on CCTV freezing in shock due to what is occurring,” according to police.
A bystander attempted to intervene and separate the two, but Taylor allegedly kept trying to attack the man until the mall’s security arrived and managed to pull them apart.
Police alleged Taylor was able to walk away when the other man tried to “re-engage”, forcing security to focus on him.
After police arrived, they asked this man if he would provide a statement, but he declined.
“It’s all good bra; I will sort this sh-t out myself,” he told them.
Taylor was arrested that night. He has been charged with assault, possessing a knife without a reasonable excuse, and using an offensive weapon that is dangerous to another person.
He was unsuccessful when he launched his second bid for bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday (23 July).
The prosecutor, Ms Sheridan, said Taylor had claimed the other man had committed a serious crime.
But, she said, there was no excuse for vigilantism.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said the prosecution had opposed bail due to the likelihood of him failing to appear again in court.
She also noted how he told police he wished he had stabbed the man in the jugular.
Magistrate Walker said there was a real likelihood of an increase in dangerous vigilantism if he was released from custody.
She refused bail. He will be sentenced on 23 August.
The court heard he had entered guilty pleas, but it was unclear if those pleas were entered to all charges.