Thursday, May 30, 2024

Blacktown Mayor condemns violence after brutal assault on councillor

Blacktown City Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM, has spoken out to condemn violence in all its forms after a Councillor, who is also a senior NSW Police officer, was allegedly assaulted by three youths on Monday.

Councillor Bob Fitzgerald, who is a long-serving member of NSW Police and a Chief Inspector at Blacktown Local Area Command, was allegedly assaulted by three boys – aged 12, 13 and 14 – on his way to work on Monday morning.

Police say that at around 4.25am on Monday, the boys were at Rooty Hill Railway Station allegedly behaving in an offensive manner and abusing passengers and railway staff.

The 60-year-old Chief Inspector approached the trio and identified himself as a police officer before directing them to cease their anti-social behaviour.

The officer, with assistance from a member of the public, placed one of the boys under arrest; however, it’s alleged the boy resisted before verbally abusing and assaulting the officer.

It’s further alleged the officer was struck multiple times to the head with a bike seat pole.

Mayor Bleasdale described the attack was “absolutely despicable, involving one of the most respected members of the Blacktown City community”.

“Councillor Fitzgerald is a pillar of our community who has earned widespread respect over many years,” the Mayor said.

“Not only is he a dedicated police officer, he is a community volunteer, and a passionate Blacktown City Councillor who has given so much to his community for so long.

“As Mayor, I condemn this alleged attack on one our City’s finest and denounce violence in all its forms.”

Blacktown City Councillor, Bob Fitzgerald.

Mayor Bleasdale said Blacktown City Council was committed to promoting a culture of non-violence through its work with NSW Police, the PCYC and a range of other community organisations.

“Council is committed to creating a safe community for our residents to live, work and play,” he said.

“We pursue this through our Crime Prevention Plan and work with our local police in particular.

“Council encourages residents to call out violence in any shape or form and report any acts of violence to police.

“I wish Bob a speedy recovery.”

Three youths have been charged over the assault and appeared in children’s court today. NSW Police are urging witnesses to come forward as they continue to investigate the incident.

A member of the public who assisted Councillor Fitzgerald was also assaulted during the incident, however, did not require any medical treatment, Police said.

Chief Inspector Fitzgerald received Blacktown’s Citizen of the Year in 2016.

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