Driver jailed for police shooting in Macca
After his friend shot a police car parked at a McDonald’s in Melbourne, Joel Papa circled the car park honking his horn.
He then crashed into a second police car when officers arrived to investigate the shooting, honking, screaming and gloating as officers hid with staff inside the building.
It wasn’t the first time Dad had hit a police car – he has a long criminal history involving endangering the police.
On Wednesday, the 27-year-old was jailed for five years for his latest offense. This is his third prison sentence in six years.
Dad and his friend Cruz Noonan – who is wanted by police for failing to show up to court after being released on bail before being sentenced – had driven aimlessly around Sunbury in north Melbourne before the shooting.
County court judge Gerard Mullaly said that with men driving with a loaded gun it was almost inevitable that something dangerous would happen, and it did.
Officers had driven into the McDonald’s parking lot in Sunbury for a short break from duty just after 3 a.m. on August 13, 2019.
As the police made their way inside, Papa walked across the parking lot, examining the scene.
Noonan fired a shotgun three times at the police car.
As the police ran towards the store entrance, Papa honked his horn while Noonan “woohoo’d,” Judge Mullaly said.
“Obviously you were celebrating, in a way, your outrageous and dangerous behavior,” he said.
Officers took shelter in a manager’s office with three staff members.
Dad twice crashed into a second police car and critical incident responders. Dad and Noonan gloated again before walking away. They were followed by the police air wing and later arrested.
Dad has previously been convicted of exposing police to danger during stolen car chases, multiple attempts to crash into police vehicles, and once for a violent assault on his then partner.
More recently, he was involved in an extortion plot, in a violent effort to collect drug debt.
Judge Mullaly said Dad became a heavy drinker of ice cream after first using drugs when he was 12 or 13, but was clean in prison and hoped for a change of life.
The judge said Dad would need considerable support upon his release from prison.
“It is hoped that the time spent away from drugs will make you realize what you will miss if you continue to commit offenses,” he said.
With the time served, he will be eligible for parole in a little over a year.