Officer’s fear: ‘This is how I’m going to go’
A POLICE officer says he feared for his life as he struggled to breath in an alleged assault that left with him with a bruised face, neck and throat.
"I thought … this is how I'm going to go," Senior Sergeant Dave Nelson said.
"That's what was going through my head at that stage."
Sen Sgt Nelson had detected a driver travelling at 121km/h on Balmoral Range Rd at Maleny on December 22, 2017.
Maroochydore District Court on Wednesday heard that he followed the driver with his lights and siren activated for a "protracted distance" before the driver pulled over.
The court heard it was not contested that Keven Drew De Vroom was behind the wheel.
Footage from the sergeant's body worn camera and from Mr De Vroom's phone was played before the court.
Mr De Vroom could be heard telling the sergeant he didn't have to give him any identification "but I am known as Kev" and "I don't take orders from you, I don't consent to this, to you pulling me over".
A scuffle then broke out but there was no footage of it.
Sen Sgt Nelson told the court he had opened Mr De Vroom's door at that point to identify the driver and "to grab the keys".
Crown prosecutor Alex Stark alleged Mr De Vroom slammed the door on Sen Sgt Nelson's left forearm "trapping the arm in the door".
"The defendant leant back from the driver's seat and kicked (the officer) in the face three times with the heel of a left foot coming at him, hitting him in the right side of the face," Mr Stark said.
Mr Stark told the court the senior sergeant then tried to close the distance between himself and Mr De Vroom, and his arm became wedged behind his back, his helmet against Mr De Vroom's chest.
"The defendant was screaming then Sgt Nelson felt a grip, consistent with the grip of a hand, to his throat and the area of his voice box," Mr Stark said.
It's alleged Sen Sgt Nelson's helmet and head was then twisted over his left shoulder.
"The pain was immense," Sen Sgt Nelson said.
"I was starting to see spots and honestly thought I'm either going to go unconscious or he's going to break my neck."
The court heard Sen Sgt Nelson used a taser and pepper spray but Mr De Vroom allegedly drove from the scene with the police helmet.
Mr De Vroom confirmed his not guilty plea to stealing and assaulting a police officer causing bodily harm.
Sen Sgt Nelson was the first of 11 witnesses expected to give evidence in the trial which will run into Friday.
The court heard that during Wednesday's lunch adjournment two juveniles who were aware of the proceedings had yelled in support of Mr De Vroom as he was leaving the court alongside the jury.
Charges relating to the incident were pending against the juveniles.
Jury members told the court they had heard a commotion but they couldn't distinguish any words being said to the defendant which may have been prejudice.