A MAN remains behind bars after an alleged shooting in bushland at Heatherbrae followed by a chase on the Pacific Highway where a car was nearly forced off the road, Newcastle Local Court heard on Friday.
The alleged victim told police he was sitting in his Honda Civic in bushland near a Heatherbrae industrial area on Thursday morning when a Holden Rodeo pulled up beside him, a police statement said.
The complainant said he exchanged words with the two men in the Rodeo before he told them to ‘‘piss off’’.
The men drove about 30metres then stopped. The driver got out and produced a .22 calibre rifle, the complainant said.
A shot was allegedly fired, which was heard by workers at the nearby industrial area, before the men in the Rodeo drove off with the complainant giving chase, police said.
The cars turned onto the Pacific Highway and travelled south before turning to head north.
The complainant called triple-0 as he drove and pulled up alongside the Rodeo as they travelled at speeds between 100km/h and 110km/h, the police statement said.
The complainant said he told the two men through the open windows of their cars: ‘‘I’ve called the police, pull over … why the f— did you shoot at me, I don’t know you’’.
The passenger allegedly replied: ‘‘Because we felt like it.’’
The complainant said he then had to take evasive action when the Rodeo swerved towards him.
The passenger is accused of producing the rifle and pointing it at the complainant, causing him to brake heavily.
The complainant allegedly drove back up beside the Rodeo near the Tarean Road exit and said, ‘‘You’re not going to lose me, I’ve called the police … You reckon you’re going to shoot me and ram me, pull over and do it properly.’’
The vehicles continued along Tarean Road and collided at one stage causing the complainant’s car to slide onto the shoulder of the road.
Police later stopped the alleged shooter’s car at Nerong and found five spent .22 calibre casings in the vehicle.
A police dog later found a rifle in the branches of a tree off Tarean Road.
Reece George Barnes, 25, of Mount Isa, was arrested and charged with firing the gun.
His passenger was charged with assault in relation to pointing the gun.
Mr Barnes told police that he had thrown a firecracker at a man on the side of the road at Heatherbrae and that he had fired a gun on Wednesday, but did not provide any further information about the incident on Thursday.
He did not plead and was refused bail by magistrate Robert Stone.Continue Reading →