Man tried to grab police officer’s gun in Cookstown disturbance

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Police carrying out night-life duties at 1.20am on September 14 observed a disturbance in the Drum Road area of Cookstown, involving about 15 males.

One of the group, Ryan McQuillan (20) from Donegore Drive, Antrim was noted punching a male to the head, knocking him to the ground.

The impact of the punch was heard by police at the scene. They arrested McQuillan and took him to a police car were he was described as “unrepentant” stating he would do it again if released. He also stated his arrest was a joke.

At this stage a number of McQuillan’s friends “aggressively” surrounded the police car and CS Spray had to be deployed.

Meanwhile in the car itself, the defendant attempted get hold with a police officer’s equipment belt and gun.

Whilst in custody McQuillan remained unrepentant stating the victim “Got what he deserved”.

Noting a previous caution for disorderly behaviour East Tyrone District Judge John Meehan ordered pre-sentence reports, remarking: “This was a serious incident made worse by an attempt to interfere with a police firearm.”

McQuillan was remanded on continuing bail to return for sentencing on November 7.