A man allegedly linked to a criminal gang has been jailed after a terrifying road rage attack in which he threatened another driver with an axe before ramming his car.
Caught on dashcam, the August 2021 incident was compared to a movie car chase as the occupants of a Mercedes were pursued by a silver Holden Barina on the M1 motorway near Byron Bay on the northern NSW coast.
The 47-year-old attacker – who plead guilty to predatory driving and was sentenced to two years jail – at one point wildly waves an axe out his window at the other driver.
‘Keep your distance bro… keep driving,’ the passenger in the Mercedes said.
‘Bro call the cops,’ the driver replied.
After the ‘remarkably calm’ pair make a U-turn across the median strip and drive in the opposite direction the Barina suddenly appears again driving up behind them.
‘Bro, this guy is f***ed in the head,’ the passenger said.
He rams their car twice with the second attempt causing his bonnet to crumple and the Barina to veer off the road and onto the nature strip before rolling to a stop.
‘That’s f***ed up,’ said the relieved driver.
The shaken occupants are heard agreeing it was best to head to the Byron Bay police station to report the incident.
A man wielding an axe pursued and rammed another driver in a terrifying road rage attack near Byron Bay that led to police breaking up a notorious gang
The attacker from South Grafton also plead guilty to another charge of being armed with intent to commit indictable offence.
NSW Police confirmed the man was sentenced to two years jail and will have to serve at least 10 months.
Social media users were quick to applaud the driver of the Mercedes after footage of the situation went viral online.
‘Glad the rager received a two-year sentence. And good on these lads for remaining calm,’ wrote one commenter.
‘How were you guys so calm. Honestly I would have crumbled the second he hit my car. Awesome job lads, glad you’re OK,’ shared another.
‘That was intense. And you got it all on camera, thanks for that. This is like an assassination attempt like movie car chases.’
New South Wales Police later announced the Barina driver’s arrest was part of a major investigation into the Loyal Crims gang in Northern NSW.
Strike Force Raptor and the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad joined forces on the investigation, leading to five arrests over a series of serious assaults, drug supply and possession, firearm supply and use, armed robbery and vehicle theft.
The car which pursued and rammed the Mercedes is shown badly damaged after ramming it a second time
‘Following extensive investigations, several ongoing cases from both the Richmond and Tweed/Byron Police Districts merged under the same Strike Force [Bench] banner to investigate the criminal group Loyal Crims’ a NSW Police statement said.
‘A 47-year-old man was convicted after he pursued two men in a vehicle southbound on the M1 Motorway at Ewingsdale, near Byron Bay, in August 2021 before threatening the other driver with an axe and ramming his car several times,’ a NSW Police statement read.
NSW Police also confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that the road rage attacker was driving an unregistered, uninsured vehicle and was ‘a member or associate’ of the Loyal Crims organised criminal group.
‘We will allege in court this network was operating across Northern NSW and committing serious offences which put the public in danger.”
The driver demands the Mercedes pull over when he stops in front of it on the M1 near Byron
Inside the ‘Loyal Crims’ gang alleged crime spree across NSW
The NSW Police allege the ‘Loyal Crims’ have been committing serious offences which put the public in danger.
In August, police confirmed two men, aged 29 and 31, and a 27-year-old woman were charged following a home invasion in Byron Bay.
They allegedly detained and assaulted a 37-year-old man, before stealing several bank cards and property.
All three were refused bail and are due to appear at Tweed Heads local court on February 18.
In October, police arrested a 24-year-old man and charged him with possession of an unregistered firearm, possession of ammunition without a licence, and property offences.
Police seized knuckle dusters and mobile phones from his home.
Further police investigations into the Loyal Crims in December lead to the ‘seizure of weapons, methylamphetamine, mobile phones and property believed to be stolen’, NSW police confirmed.
A further four arrests were made – three men, aged between 35 and 50, and a 29-year-old woman were all arrested across NSW.
Two 35-year-old men and a 29-year old woman were arrested, at Lismore and Goonellabah, and all were charged with robbery, arson, drug possession and supply and participation in a ‘criminal group’.
One of the men was charged with stalking and intimidation and using an offensive weapon.
Police claimed all three were involved in an alleged carjacking, assault and car fire in West Ballina on October 30.
Police also said related enquiries were continuing into a ‘public shooting’ at Mooball, 30km north of Byron.