SHOALHAVEN Police Inspector Steve Johnson said Mr Beugels’ bashing six weeks ago was a crime that disgusted not only police but the local community.
“I was one of the first police to speak to Francois in the rear of the ambulance and I was shocked by his injuries,” Inspector Johnson said.
“But the way the community has rallied around him and helped him out in whatever way possible has been fantastic.
“And we, as police, must thank the community for all the help with the investigations we received via Facebook or from those who called police with information.
“That along with great work by our investigative team led to a swift arrest.”
Inspector Johnson said in the weeks after the attack he has been able to get to know Francois.
“You would not find a nicer person, a real gentleman and a scholar,” he said.
Shoalhaven LAC crime manager Detective Inspector Mark Robinson also paid credit to the investigative team.
“It was a case that when officers were asked to undertake extra workloads or even overtime no one hesitated,” he said.
“And it was a real team effort from the detectives, the general duties teams, the TAG (Target Arrest Group) and the crime management unit – they all canvassed the area, interviewed people and spoke to members of the public on the phone.
“And we must thank the public for its support.”