Summary: A woman accused of assaulting a police officer by pulling out clumps of hair from her scalp has pleaded not guilty. The defendant argues that she was trying to free herself from an ‘unlawful’ arrest. The court was shown body cam footage and CCTV of the altercation.
Raina Jane Cruise, a failed South Australian Senate candidate and anti-vaccine protester, stood trial in the District Court and pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated assault and intentionally causing harm to a police officer. The incident occurred on a night in October 2021 in Adelaide’s CBD. Prosecutor Greg Dudzinski stated that police were called to question Ms. Cruise and two other men after they allegedly removed people’s masks at a hotel and assaulted security guards who had evicted them. Ms. Cruise and her co-accused have already pleaded guilty to assaulting the guards. The court was shown body cam footage and CCTV of the altercation, which displayed the group’s aggression and resistance towards the police.
During the altercation, Ms. Cruise told the officer to ‘obey me’ and complained about the police acting like ‘Nazi Germany.’ Prosecutor Greg Dudzinski further explained that Ms. Cruise physically restrained the officer, pulling out clumps of hair from her scalp, and continued to strike her. She also threatened to ‘smash’ the officer ‘one-on-one.’
However, Ms. Cruise’s lawyer argued that the arrest was ‘unlawful’ and that his client was entitled to defend herself and use reasonable force to free herself from false imprisonment. The defense lawyer claimed that the police officer did not act in line with her lawful duties when she threatened to arrest Ms. Cruise for not providing identification. The trial in the District Court is ongoing.
Tags: assault, police officer, hair pulling, unlawful arrest, body cam footage, CCTV, aggression, self-defense, District Court, trial