A Yarraville man has been charged after handing himself into police over an attack on two Maribyrnong councillors.
Police swooped on Footscray town hall on Tuesday night as a Maribyrnong Council meeting descended into violence.
Councillor Grant Miles was king hit by a middle-aged man and Cr Nam Quach was bodyslammed to the floor after anger boiled over after a move to repeal paid parking in Yarraville was voted down.
The two councillors had been joined by new mayor Cr Cameron McDonald in voting down the motion by Cr Michael Clarke to halt paid parking due to its effect on traders.
Paid parking was introduced in September after Cr Miles last year used his casting vote as then-mayor to break a 3-3 split on the proposal.
CR NAM QUACH IS HELPED TO HIS FEET
Angry comments from the gallery peppered the meeting, increasing in volume during speeches for retaining paid parking.
Uproar broke out soon after 8pm when Cr McDonald used his casting vote to knock the motion down.
As residents and traders began leaving Tuesday night’s meeting in disgust following the vote, the man approached Cr Miles and punched him in the face.
Bedlam broke out and councillors and council staff moved to contain the man, but chairs went flying as another man joined the affray and Cr Quach was picked up and slammed to the floor.
Cr Quach was left bleeding from the mouth while Cr Miles appeared shaken but not seriously injured by the punch.
The men were shepherded from the scene, the first man telling Cr Miles “you are a dead man”.
Police were quickly on the scene and began questioning councillors and council staff.
Police spoke to a 28-year-old Mount Waverley man who was interviewed at the scene however not charged.
A second alleged offender, a 61-year-old man from Yarraville, turned himself in at Footscray Police Station on Wednesday morning where he was interviewed by detectives.
He was charged with one count of recklessly causing injury and two counts of unlawful assault.
The Yarraville man was released on bail to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on January 28, 2016.
Detectives are continuing to investigate the incident and review CCTV.
Despite initial information that suggested there were four alleged offenders, police believe they have now spoken to all suspects and are not looking for any further offenders.
The Australian Services Union has condemned the attack and security will be reviewed in the wake of the incident.
Violence no answer
Mayor Cameron McDonald said while the paid parking issue is highly emotive violence is not the answer.
“Local government is the most accessible level of government and Councillors should be able to make decisions in a safe environment,” he said.
“Violence against Councillors, such as what occurred last night, cannot be condoned or supported in any way. Nor can abuse or intimidation.”