A MAN high on the drug ice and armed with two hammers had to be disarmed by local farmers after driving through paddocks in the belief that he was being hunted.
Mortlake policeman Senior Constable Justin Rasmussen said the Melbourne man in his late 20s was first reported to police driving through private paddocks halfway between Mortlake and Woorndoo about noon on Sunday.
He said the man was under the influence of ice, had started hallucinating and thought he was being hunted.
The police officer said it was the third such incident in Mortlake during the past couple of months involving visitors to town and it appeared that people being out of their comfort zone added to their hallucinations.
“He was driving his twin-cab ute through private properties literally lost on Sunday,” he said.
‘‘The first call I got was about lunch time.
“After the first call there seemed to be a bit of a ring around and everyone was asked to keep a lookout.
‘‘It was initially thought he was casing joints with the aim of committing thefts.”
Senior Constable Rasmussen said the man then became bogged on private property.
“The Woorndoo residents found him in the middle of nowhere,” he said.
‘‘He was 12 kilometres from Mortlake and about the same from Woorndoo at the top end of Woodcutters Lane.
‘‘That really is lost.
“He was trying to dig himself out when the 10 farmers turned up.
‘‘They saw he was not well due to drug use. He was highly volatile.
“He was armed with a hammer in each hand, on the ground hitting the grass to bend it over to try and get his vehicle out of the bog.”
Senior Constable Ras-mussen, who has been stationed in Mortlake for 15 years, said one of the farmers took the hammers from the drug user and contained him for 25 minutes before he arrived.
“When I got there I assessed him. He was obviously on drugs and was coming off a high,” the officer said.
‘‘He was mentally stable, but had minor injuries and refused medical treatment
“I took him to a place where he was looked after by friends.
‘‘He’s gone from the district now.”
Senior Constable Ras-mussen said the man admitted to being a social user of ice but had recently been using daily.
“Despite what happened he said it was a wonderful drug that made him calm but he agreed the hallucinations were intense,” he said.
“People on ice don’t know what they’re doing.
‘‘They have no control.
‘‘There are no boundaries. The drug affects any ability to reason. The hallucinations are the biggest issue. People believe they are in life-or-death situations.
‘‘This bloke at the weekend thought he was being hunted.”
Senior Constable Rasmussen said it was fortunate the ice user got lost on private property in the middle of nowhere.
“He would have been a real danger on the roads to himself or any other road user,” he said.
‘‘The key concern from a policing perspective is the health of the person concerned — it’s a welfare issue.
“He’s the third ice user we’ve had come through town in the past couple of months.
‘‘They have just been coming through town and being out of their comfort zone adds to the delusions. I’ve never seen anything like it until now, but ice has come to Mortlake.” Police investigations into possible charges are continuing.