Policewoman hurt in Palm Island violence

By Peter Michael and Rosanne Barrett
27th December 2006

A PALM Island policewoman was injured and a police vehicle damaged when youths pelted them with rocks in the latest outbreak of violence on the island.

Witnesses told The Courier-Mail  last night that up to four teenagers attacked the police vehicle when officers attempted to intervene in an out-of-control Christmas party about 4am yesterday.

The female officer was hit in the stomach by rocks when she got out of the car.

"She fell straight to the ground," said elder Agnes Wooton. "She was hit in the stomach by a rock and it dropped her straight to the ground."

The latest clash, amid simmering tensions on the island, was "deeply disappointing", she said.

Palm Island, population 3500, has been at flashpoint since the state's top prosecutor decided not to charge a police officer over a death in custody on the island.

"This is something we cannot condone," said Mrs Wooton.

"We have been making good steps with the police to deal with youth problems and health programs, and we have all been working together towards reconciliation.

"But it is a shame the young people are getting out of hand. They need to be pulled into line.

"I don't tolerate what they have done. It is really something that should not have happened."

Police were called to the party where one youth was reportedly attempting to drive his vehicle into the front yard of the crowded party.

But when officers arrived, some turned on the officers.

It is understood the young policewoman was taken to hospital for assessment but later released.

A Queensland Police spokesman last night confirmed a man had been charged with wilful damage to a police vehicle and released on bail.

He said investigations were continuing into further charges.