Three police officers hit by car, man charged with attempted murder

Albert McKnight 12 July 2021 4
Police vehicles

Officers were conducting a routine traffic stop near the National Arboretum when the incident happened. Photo: File.

A Canberra man accused of driving into three police officers, including two who had only just started their careers, trapping one underneath his car, has been charged with attempted murder.

ACT Policing said the officers were conducting a routine traffic stop near the National Arboretum at about 2:50 pm on Sunday (11 July) at the intersection of Forest and Lady Denman drives.

The officers had stopped a Toyota Aurion and were standing off the road in front of it when police allege a Ford Laser sedan was driven directly at them.

The experienced officer, a male Detective Leading Senior Constable, was thrown onto the bonnet of the Laser and hit the windscreen before landing on the ground in front of it.

The two female constables, who had graduated about four weeks ago, were also struck.


READ MORE: Three police officers hit by car, one seriously injured


One was thrown onto the bonnet of the car before landing on the ground. Deputy Chief Police Officer Commander Michael Chew alleged the other was “run over” by the car and became “pinned” under it.

He said this constable received a “quite severe” compound fracture and multiple fractures to one leg and would required surgery at a later stage.

The male senior constable suffered back and head injuries and is undergoing assessment at Canberra Hospital, while the other female constable was also injured.

Thomas Matthews, 30, of Hawker, has been arrested over the incident and charged with three counts of attempted murder, three counts of driving at police and one count of culpable driving causing grievous bodily harm.

Michael Chew.

Deputy Chief Police Officer Michael Chew thanked the driver of the Aurion who assisted officers. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

Deputy Chief Police Officer Commander Michael Chew said the two constables were new to ACT Policing and were being trained in traffic procedures.

“They remained calm and acted appropriately during what would have been a terrifying situation,” he said.

“I have nothing but praise for the actions of all three officers.

“I would also like to thank the driver of the Toyota Aurion who didn’t hesitate to assist our officers, along with two other members of the public, to move the vehicle that had trapped the officer.

“All three officers will receive welfare support and assistance during their recovery from their injuries.”


READ ALSO: Claims alleged driver in fatal crash unfit to enter plea


Mr Matthews, a balding man with a long brown beard, appeared over audio-visual link in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (12 July) but did not apply to be released from custody on bail.

Magistrate Robert Cook charged him before his Legal Aid lawyer Georgia Le Couteur requested a three-week adjournment.

Prosecutor Anthony Williamson said Mr Matthews also faced charges of arson and attacking a police officer with a weapon. Mr Williamson asked that the bail he had been granted for those two charges be revoked.

Magistrate Cook revoked the bail and remanded Mr Matthews in custody to appear in court again on 2 August.


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4 Responses to Three police officers hit by car, man charged with attempted murder
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bigred bigred 9:00 pm 12 Jul 21

No person should be subject to the threat of someone deliberately driving a motor vehicle at them. I must note however that if someone drove deliberately at Joe Blow crossing at a pedestrian crossing the response would be of somewhat less importance.

russianafroman russianafroman 8:33 pm 12 Jul 21

Life sentence without parole

Finagen_erection Finagen_erection 6:12 pm 12 Jul 21

Unbelievable. Thomas Matthews Prime muppet. You have no right being on my streets. Questionable whether you add any value to our city, territory, or the planet. Snuff.

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