A Nowra parolee is back behind bars following an alleged road rage incident at Gerringong.
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Nathan Camilleri, 45, is facing assault and property damage charges stemming from the December 30 confrontation, which prosecutors said escalated quickly after beginning in “relatively innocuous” circumstances.
A police statement tendered to Wollongong Local Court on Sunday said Camilleri was driving his red Hyundai Elantra eastbound on Pacific Avenue about 2.45pm when a VW Tiguan being driven by the alleged victim pulled out behind him.
Camilleri drove slowly up to a nearby intersection, prompting the Tiguan driver to beep his horn in protest at the low speed.
Camilleri, in turn, stopped his car suddenly, causing the Tiguan driver to have to come to an abrupt halt behind him.
Camilleri exited the Elantra and approached the victim, asking if he had a problem. The victim replied “you’re blocking traffic”.
Camilleri then challenged the driver to get out of his vehicle so they could “sort it out” and the pair began to argue.
At one stage, the victim pulled out his mobile phone and attempted to take a picture of Camilleri’s vehicle.
Camilleri allegedly responded by reaching into the man’s car and grabbing hold of his sunglasses, which he pushed into the victim’s face.
He then pulled the glasses off the victim and threw them onto the road, police claim.
The victim got out of his car to retrieve the glasses, at which time Camilleri allegedly slapped the mobile phone from his hand, causing it to smack into the car’s front door then fall to the ground.
Police were called to the location and Camilleri was arrested.
Prosecutor Shannon Ryan opposed Camilleri’s bail application in court on Sunday citing concerns for community safety.
However, defence lawyer John Gallagher said Camilleri had also lodged a complaint with police against the alleged victim’s behaviour on the day.
“The community has an interest in protection, but it also has an interest in justice,” he said.
Registrar Nicole Hoffman refused to release Camilleri, saying there were no bail conditions that would mitigate the risk he posed to the community.
The case returns to court on January 8.
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