Petrol and crackers a dangerous mix

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A DRUG-AFFECTED motorist sparked a major scare at a Braeside service station when he poured petrol over his car’s front seat and then set off firecrackers near the open driver’s side door.

Detective Senior Constable Andy Sapir, of Kingston CIU, said the man had admitted taking a “bad batch of ice” prior to the Wednesday 10 January incident and had little recollection of what could have been a catastrophe.

A 41-year-old Frankston man was remanded to appear at Moorabbin Magistrate’s Court next month charged with reckless conduct endangering life.

The Boundary Rd station attendant in Braeside watched on as the offender pulled up beside the pump at 5.12am, walked over to a pallet of water bottles and stole one for himself and his dog. He then hopped on a customer’s bicycle and rode around the bowsers before returning to his car and taking out a large snowboard which he placed behind the car.

He then took a petrol pump nozzle, opened his car door, and began pouring petrol inside the car. The alarmed attendant notified his manager who told him to turn off the pump and await the arrival of emergency services.

By this time the offender had taken out firecrackers which he arranged next to the open door and set them off – with sparks and fiery fuses “going off in every direction”. Luckily, none ignited the petrol.

The man walked off along Boundary Rd towards Governor Rd where he found an unlocked Nissan four-wheel-drive outside a gym and hopped into the driver’s seat. He started the car and was about to drive off when police arrived.

The man then allegedly “drove at police” on the wrong side of the road and sped off towards Mentone, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with another car.

He was arrested in Beach Rd, Mentone, at 10am the same day. The stolen car was undamaged.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 17 January 2018

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