19
Aug

Gunman takes Gold Coast petrol station attendant hostage

A Gold Coast service station attendant has described the moment he was taken hostage by a man in what became a four-hour stand-off with police. Click here to watch the video.

Robert Foott was working in the Southport service station about 8:30pm on Friday when alleged gunman Jaimie Madden holed himself up inside.

“As he walked through the door, the gun hit the door and it made a distinctive metallic sound. It wasn’t plastic, it was metal,” Mr Foote said.

“As my father said, if he’s got a gun you call the guy ‘sir’. So, do whatever he wants.

“He never pointed it at me, so it’s not like I was the threat. But my attention was on the gun.

“Then the police start shouting outside, then you see the blue lights.”

Mr Foote said he managed to escape when his captor was distracted.

“Once he turned and basically just took the attention away from me, he wasn’t interested in me, he was just interested in being in the shop. I was gone,” he said.

“I was out in the panic room, then outside. And by that time, there were probably 15 cops on the scene … [it] ended up being 40.

“It’s a scary night. I don’t expect to see somebody with a gun.”

Police said the siege was the culmination of a crime spree involving a string of armed robberies and car jackings along Ferry Road and Nerang Street.

It began when Mr Madden, 29, allegedly threatened a taxi driver with a firearm and forced him to drive to a service station on Ferry Road.

Police said while he was there, he threatened a console operator, forcing him to hand over cash from the till and keys to a car.

Police said Mr Madden drove about 500 metres south to another service station on Ferry Road, where he allegedly stole a second car at gunpoint.

A police helicopter was observing from above as Mr Madden allegedly stole a third car by threatening the four occupants with his gun.

But officers used a tyre deflation device to stop the car on Nerang Street, before Mr Madden then ran into a third service station, sparking the stand-off.

Police made an emergency declaration under the Public Safety Preservation Act while negotiations took place.

Mr Madden was taken into custody around midnight.

He was charged with five counts of armed robbery, three counts each of wilful damage and unlawful use of a motor vehicle, two counts of serious assault whilst armed and one count of dangerous operation of a vehicle with prior conviction and unlawful possession of a weapon.

The matter was briefly mentioned in Southport Magistrates Court on Saturday morning.

The court was told Mr Madden did not appear because he was still being assessed in hospital.

The matter was adjourned to Monday.

Acting Inspector Dave Cousins said a firearm was seized.

“The weapon was pulled at a number of people, including police,” he said.

Inspector Cousins praised police for their actions.

“It was successfully concluded without any injuries or damage to people,” he said.

Police are still looking for a woman in relation to armed robberies that occurred before the siege.

They released an image of a 29-year-old woman who police said assisted Mr Madden in forcing a taxi driver to take them to a service station in Southport where the standoff took place.

extracted from ABC