Shocking footage shows brutal baseball attack on police officer
Body-cam footage of a baseball bat attack on two Victorian police officers has emerged in court, with one of the officers telling the court he would have died if not for his partner’s intervention.
The video shows an altercation between officers Rowan Baldham and William Ringin, a teenage boy, and Warrnambool man Steven Cleary in October last year.
Baldham and Ringin can be seen questioning the teen about why he wasn’t wearing a mask amid Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions, when Cleary pulls over and emerges from his car with a baseball bat.
Cleary then yells at the boy to “pick up your bags and go” and tells police to “get your hands off him”.
The situation escalates when the teenager allegedly reaches for Ringin’s gun, while Cleary begins hitting Baldham with the bat several times before Ringin manages to wrestle it from Cleary’s hands.
The 21-year-old officer then hits Cleary with the bat before he is eventually capsicum sprayed and tasered by both officers.
After Cleary is cuffed and taken away in another police vehicle, the body-cam footage shows Baldham sitting on the curb with blood streaming down the side of his head.
Appearing in court on Wednesday, Cleary pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including affray, causing injury intentionally, and assaulting an emergency worker on duty, per 7News.
Both officers were also present, with an emotional Baldham breaking down when he saw the shocking footage again.
“Hearing the sound I made when I’m hit is the worst bit for me,” he said.
“I didn’t know I was capable of making such a sound.”
He told the court he was “convinced” he would have died if his partner hadn’t stepped in to help.
“I am convinced that without his intervention – I would have been beaten to death,” he said.
Cleary, who is due to be sentenced on Friday, suffered from a delusional mental illness which he wasn’t being treated for, according to his lawyer, and at the time of the incident believed in Covid conspiracy theories.
The two officers had planned to serve in the police for life, but are considering leaving following the incident.