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Melbourne CBD ‘erratic’ driver charged, to face court

melbourne cbd driver court
Police search the man's car after Wednesday's CBD incident. Photo: AAP
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It took just three minutes for police to stop a man who was driving erratically through Melbourne’s CBD in an incident with similarities to the 2017 Bourke Street mall attack.

It’s alleged a 26-year-old man stopped a car on Flinders Street in front of a tram, climbed on top and yelled, then did a donut at an intersection.

Superintendent Dan Trimble said the shoot-to-kill powers granted to police were never considered in Wednesday’s incident because of how quickly it was resolved.

“From the time we got it (the first call) to he was intercepted, I have it as three minutes,” Superintendent Trimble told 3AW on Thursday.

“It’s still a long time and, like all these incidents, we’ll assess the way we responded and see where we can make improvements.”

The busy Flinders and William streets intersection was closed during the incident. Photo: Twitter

The man had not been under observation by police until the incident in the CBD started.

“He came out of nowhere. Obviously we’ve got the cameras throughout the city and he was followed once we became aware of the incident at Flinders and Swanston streets, and then we followed him on cameras there and he was intercepted down at Williams Street,” Superintendent Trimble said.

About 50 police who are positioned throughout the city responded.

Victoria Police arrested the 26-year-old at the intersection of Williams Street about 1.50pm on Wednesday and have charged him with reckless conduct endangering life and other traffic offences.

He was remanded in custody to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning.

No one was injured in the incident.

In January 2017, James Gargasoulas drove a car in circles at the intersection of Flinders and Swanston streets before taking the car through the Bourke Street mall, killing six people and injuring another 27.

Since then, security has been improved throughout the city and Wednesday’s events were a reminder of that work, Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday.

“I want to thank Victoria Police members for their very prompt response to a very significant incident, a frightening incident,” he said.

“I know that people who would have witnessed that, it would have been very raw for people considering the tragedy that unfolded in exactly the same spot not that long ago.”