Cop helps man who threatened to harm him
It's the kind of story that could only happen in a small country town.
A young man threatens the local constable with a molotov cocktail.
The police officer locks the lad up, puts him before the courts - then gets him a job.
That is exactly what played out for Amberley crash survivor Reece Dick-Durham, who, thanks to a good word from the local officer, is now working fulltime as a labourer for Naylor Love.
Dick-Durham, 20, is awaiting sentencing for threatening Constable Craig Newman, saying he would throw a molotov cocktail into his house.
He had told the court he was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder after surviving a crash in Woodend three years ago and was "crying out for help".
The front seat passenger, Worthy Redeemed, pushed the steering wheel, forcing the car into the path of a bus.
Dick-Durham yesterday admitted it was "pretty unexpected" help had come from the officer he threatened.
"One week I was going to throw a molotov cocktail through his window, then next week he gets me a job. I was like, ‘righto'."
The labouring job, at the Amberley Brackenfields Shopping Centre construction site, came about when the site manager turned up at the police station to introduce himself.
Newman was on duty and asked if the manager had any non-skilled jobs going. The manager said they needed someone for odd jobs cutting concrete, cleaning trucks and guarding the site, and asked if Newman knew anyone who could start right away.
"I hunted Reece down and spoke to his parents," Newman said. "Gave him the hard talk that this was his chance and not to stuff it up. He's been there ever since [and] is making excellent progress."
"Reece shook my hand and said thank-you. I was quite moved for a grumpy old country cop."
Dick-Durham has just finished his third week and said working was a "forward step" in his life.
"It's good getting out and about versus being bored. I've lived in Amberley 18 years. Sometimes you just feel like you're stuck in a rut."
If work dried up in Amberley, Dick-Durham hoped to work on the Christchurch rebuild.
Newman said it was important in a small town to look after your locals.
"They'll be your offender today, your victim tomorrow and your informant the day after that."