Is This The Most Incompetent Attempted Getaway in Australian Motoring History?


It’s a subjective topic, but a bizarre scene that unfolded in Sydney this week could just turn out to be the most incompetent attempt at a ‘hit and run’ in Australian motoring history.

The young male driver, reportedly aged 25, definitely got the ‘hit’ part right, wiping out numerous cars, several signs, and one fence… three times. But it was the ‘run’ bit – really, the most important part of the ‘hit and run’ – that seemed to elude him.

[Ed’s note: The original video on Youtube has been taken down. You can seen an edited version of the video here on].

The dramatic scenes unfolded shortly after midday last Wednesday following a brief police pursuit in Punchbowl, a suburb in the south west of Sydney. The chase was terminated after only a few minutes amid police concerns for public safety (brief note of irony: May 17, the day of the pursuit, was the same day NSW Police tasered 95-year-old dementia patient, Clare Rowland, at a nursing home in Cooma in southern NSW. She passed away overnight so, you know, swings and roundabouts as far as police ‘fears for safety’ is concerned).

But police disengagement apparently didn’t slow the driver down. At all. A short time later the stolen Alfa Romeo crashed into a Mercedes in nearby Roselands, but continued on, making it all the way to the neighbouring suburb of Kingsgrove before the driver hit several more vehicles, mounted the footpath, and somehow got his car stuck between two cars and a high steel fence.

And that’s when things got really weird. With onlookers trying to convince the driver to stop, he smashed his way out of the jam, then took off down the footpath. Casual observers might have assumed he was home-free, but 10 or so metres further on he veered wildly to the left, crashing back into the high steel fence.

The driver managed to back the vehicle out of the wreck, then took off down the footpath again, only to once more veer wildly to his left, crashing into the same steel fence for a second time. Repeat and rinse, before he took off for a third attempt… and, as you might have guessed, veered wildly to the left again, this time finally crashing through the steel fence and jamming the vehicle stuck, once and for all.

If you look closely at the footage, both his left and right front wheels appear to be badly buckled, which at least partly explains him inexplicably spearing off into the fence three times. Whatever the cause of the incredibly bad driving, this one is going to be hard for any self-respecting joyrider to live down.

In any event, inspired by Australian police brutality, various men then kick, punch, push, shout and swear at the young man, who appears to be genuinely confused about why he didn’t get away.

The behaviour of his captors is only slightly less professional than this arrest, which occurred after a police pursuit in Victoria in January 2022 (footage only emerged last month as well).

Bodycam footage captures police telling the man repeatedly to “shut the fuck up”, and calling him a “flog”, a “dog” a “fuckwit”, a “fucking low life scumbag”, and a “dickhead”.

Monkey see, monkey do.

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.