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Dunedin man spat bloody saliva at police and kicked a paramedic in the groin

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Police and ambulance were called when a brawl broke out on a Caversham street after a 21st birthday party. Photo / Hayden Woodward, File

A Dunedin man spat bloody saliva at police and kicked a paramedic in the groin during a drunken fracas, a court has heard.

When Dylan Lee Owens, 23, was arrested for the attack on the ambulance officer, he was unrepentant.

“And I would f***ing do it again,” he said.

He appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to four charges of aggravated assault.

A letter to the court from one of Owens’ work colleagues described him as reliable, punctual and “quietly spoken”, and counsel Karlena Lawrence stressed her client was remorseful.

But when Judge Jim Large imposed three months’ community detention and 18 months’ supervision, the defendant shook his head.

“A load of s***,” he said, only stopping when the judge threatened to send him to the cells.

On April 24, police was called to a fight in Caversham.

They found Owens on the street, brawling with another man, and separated the pair, handcuffing the defendant because of his aggressive demeanour.

The court heard they had been attending a 21st birthday party.

Lawrence said Owens appreciated that he had a drinking problem, a viewpoint that was underscored by the judge.

“When you have a bellyful of beer, you behave in a way that’s totally unacceptable,” he said.

During the fracas, Owens had spat blood and saliva into the face of a constable.

The victim said in 30 years of frontline policing, it was only the second time it had happened.

A spit hood was fitted and St John arrived to assess Owens’ injuries from the earlier fight.

The 26-year-old paramedic said Owens remained abusive to the officers and then launched both his legs into her pelvis with as much force as he could muster.

The belligerent behaviour continued at the station while the defendant was being processed.

Court documents detailed how Owens spat several times at a second officer then punched another in the crotch.

He told police he did not think spitting at them constituted an offence.

“I hope you’ve changed your view,” said Judge Large.

“Your behaviour that night was just totally unacceptable.”

Alongside his other penalties, Owens was also ordered to pay the paramedic $500.

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