A dramatic disturbance erupted at a makeshift campsite, dubbed Dee Why’s ‘Tent City’ within the Dee Why lagoon bushland this afternoon, with one man arrested at nearby The Strand after reports he was threatening another man with a machete. A second man was arrested at the lagoon over alleged threats to police.
A NSW Police spokesperson told Manly Observer that officers from Northern Beaches Police Area Command were called to The Strand at Dee Why just after 4.30pm today (Monday 3 October 2022) after reports of a fire at Dee Why lagoon and a man chasing another with a machete.
When they arrived they found the man at a local service station. At the time he was not armed with a machete, however police said “he was violent towards the officers” and they were forced to use OC spray to subdue him and make the arrest. Police later detailed that an officer had been kicked in the head.
Officers were alerted to a deliberately-lit fire in nearby bushland; a machete was located and seized in the bush nearby.
The man was charged with Damage property by fire; Use offensive weapon with intent to commit indictable offence;Assault police, and Resist, hinder police.
A second man, aged 43, was arrested at the lagoon carpark and has been charged with one count each of assault police, and intimidate police.
The men are known to each other.
The area near where the second man was arrested has been a source of concern for police, Northern Beaches Council and locals, with many complaints over residents at the makeshift ‘tent city’ being responsible for various thefts, other petty crimes and other anti-social behaviour.
It is not known whether both men arrested this afternoon live at the site or is connected to the other reported anti-social behaviours.
Manly Observer recently reported on broad concerns over the tent city, with NSW Police refusing to comment and referring the issue to Council.
The men, both from Dee Why, have been refused bail to appear in Manly Local Court today (Tuesday 4 October 2022).