South Shields dad scuffled with police after trying to speak to friend in patrol car during armed incident

A dad-of-two has been fined for scuffling with police when he tried to speak to a friend being quizzed in the back of a patrol car during an armed incident, a court heard.

David McAthey, 38, refused to keep his distance when asked to during a 999 call out close to his Lumley Avenue home in South Shields, at 10.15pm on Wednesday, March 25.
David McAthey, 38, refused to keep his distance when asked to during a 999 call out close to his Lumley Avenue home in South Shields, at 10.15pm on Wednesday, March 25.

David McAthey, 38, refused to keep his distance when asked to during a 999 call out close to his Lumley Avenue home in South Shields, at 10.15pm on Wednesday, March 25.

Four officers and a member of the public were needed to restrain the assistant site manager, who had been hauled to the ground after becoming aggressive.

During the commotion, a policeman felt what he believed was an attempt to bite his wrist and his watch was damaged, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.

McAthey pleaded guilty to obstructing a PC on the basis he did neither - and no charges were brought in relation to those suspicions.

Prosecutor Kirstie Devine said: “Police are in Lumley Avenue, dealing with a firearms incident.

“They have a male and female in the vehicle to assist them. The defendant comes near them, and he’s asked not to do so.

“He made numerous attempts to walk around and to speak to the male in the vehicle.

“He was repeatedly warned to move away, but he became agitated and aggressive towards the officers.

“He had his arms stretched out, which the officers interpreted as asking to fight. Officers took the defendant to the ground.”

Michelle Stonley, defending, said: “It is said that he attempted to bite him.

“Mr McAthey does not accept this, nor did he pull the watch from the officer’s wrist.

“There were four officers and a civilian restraining him on the ground. He says the watch must have been damaged during that incident.

“He accepts that he went over to the vehicle to speak to a friend who was in the back of the vehicle.

“He says that some officers said he could go towards the vehicle, but at the car the officers have said to come no further.”

McAthey was fined £553 and must pay £75 compensation to the officer and £85 court costs and a £55 victim surcharge.

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