Guilty plea for drunken NYE replica pistol scare

A 29-year-old man has pleaded guilty to threatening police with an imitation semi-automatic pistol he purchased online for $30, after drinking heavily on New Year’s Eve.

Steven James Carder, of Upper St in Bega, faced Bega Local Court on Tuesday, January 9, charged with four counts of assaulting police, being armed with a replica Glock 17 pistol, and carrying a 20cm Nepalese Gurkha fighting knife in a public place.

Carder’s solicitor Travis McGeachy said an “extreme level of intoxication on the day” was to blame for his client’s actions.

“I’m really scratching my head, these are really serious [charges],” Magistrate Doug Dick told Carder.

According to police documents, Carder pointed the replica pistol, which officers believed to be real, at police in two marked patrol cars at 8.10pm on December 31 after drinking 16 full strength beers.

A security guard spotted Carder walking in the middle of Hill St holding the replica pistol, wearing black tactical boots, camouflage pants, a gun holster and black knee pads.

The security guard called police, and when they arrived Carder, who was sitting on a Heath St kerb, drew the replica pistol from his holster and pointed it directly at Senior Constables Andrew Burden and Matthew O’Neill.

The officers took evasive action by making a left hand turn on to Hill St, where they were passed by Senior Constable David Kelly and Constable Jarrod Butler, who saw Carder pointing the replica in their direction.

They quickly reversed their vehicle, before all officers formed what was described as a “contain and negotiate” manoeuver, directing Carder to drop the pistol, which he then did.

In an interview following his arrest, Carder said he had no memory of pointing the replica at police officers, nor of being in possession of the fighting knife.

Carder was reportedly also seen earlier in the afternoon walking his German shepherd with the replica pistol, however a police patrol of the area failed to locate him.

Documents said there could have been “catastrophic consequences” if not for the “professionalism and training” of the officers. 

He has no registered firearms, firearms licence, or permit for replica guns.

Carder will be sentenced on Tuesday, February 27, at Bega Local Court.