A PENNINGTON man who was released from the Mount Gambier Prison and was meant to return to Adelaide on strict home detention bail conditions was arrested in the city on Friday.
Johnnie Walters, 46, appeared in police custody in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court and made no application for bail after being charged with a number of other serious offences.
At around 3.20pm on Friday, police and ambulance crews were called to Wyatt Street in relation to a man lying on the road.
When patrols approached Walters, he became aggressive and belligerent and allegedly spat in the face and eye of a police officer.
He also tried to kick paramedics.
Further checks revealed Walters was breaching his bail and he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and breach of bail.
Limestone Coast Police officer in charge Superintendent Phil Hoff said the alleged offending was a disgusting act.
“He showed absolutely no regard for police officers or the emergency services present,” Supt Hoff said.
“We are not expected in this job to be subjected to this kind of physical abuse and spitting is disgusting behaviour.
“We have concerns that spitting is a mechanism of conveying a disease.”
Supt Hoff also expressed his frustrations about the fact the man was breaching bail.
“It is very disappointing to see a person subject to very strict bail conditions out in the community committing offences,” Supt Hoff said.
Walters was remanded in custody until September 12.
The incident follows revelations late last month that inmates released from Mount Gambier Prison are not forced to return to their place of residence.
Just last week, another Adelaide man was arrested for offences committed in Mount Gambier after his release from the prison.
Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell said he had held talks with Corrections Minister Corey Wingard in a bid to push for a in-depth study into prisoners movements.
The department has now conceded it has no statistics on prisoner movements and how many former inmates – who lived in other areas in the state – have made the Blue Lake city home.
It is believed this upward trend is placing pressure on police resources and community transitional services.