Cop ‘more interested in tattoos’ than injured rider

Harley t-shirts

A police officer was more interested in photographing the tattoos of an injured motorcycle rider than helping the man, according to an eyewitness.

“The cop might have been more productive trying to find a place to land the helicopter than taking photos of the man’s tattoos,” says the eyewitness, a former police reporter.

“On the surface at the time I thought his behaviour was unusual as a former police reporter and there were more important things to worry about at the time.”

The identity of the eyewitness has been suppressed by agreement as he bids for government contracts and says he was “burned” by the previous government over political comments he made.

“While he was on his own and wasn’t wearing leathers or patches, the assumption from the people trying to help him was that if he was either a bikie or he was connected to bikies,” he says. “I think they (VLAD Act) are ridiculous laws. They remind me of Nazi Germany.”

The accident happened on a “pretty quiet” stretch of road near Jimboomba about 2.30pm on Sunday, January 25. “As I came over hill bike he was lying on the road and had just crashed,” the eyewitness says. “The bike had left the road and hit a tree. I waited there and some neighbours came out and the ambulance was called. He was in a bad way and going in and out of consciousness. Everyone was worried and there was a nurse there saying he was in a bad way.”

Harley t-shirts
Harley t-shirts

The eyewitness says an off-duty police officer in a dog squad car arrived to help. “He looked after the traffic and was really good. Then the first of three ambulances arrived with a patrol car,” he says. “One of the cops did his duty with witnesses and started looking at the road and the scene. I was a police reporter for many years and he was doing his job. But the other cop was more interested in the injured rider’s tattoos. He wasn’t in leathers or patches, just boardies and a Harley t-shirt and one of those little skull cap helmets – not the best thing to wear on the road.

“As they cut his shirt and pants off you could see that not a lot of his body wasn’t tattooed. The other cop started describing the tattoos on his mobile phone. A couple of people said perhaps they were doing it to identify him. He had told us his name but he had no ID. However, there was a rego plate on his bike and they have a lot easier ways to identify him than by his tats. He didn’t get in the way of the ambos, but everyone thought it was a bit odd and he wasn’t interested in the accident. His whole thing at that time was noting the guy’s tats and that he was riding a Harley and had a Harley t-shirt. The cop might have been more productive trying to find a place to land a helicopter.”

If anyone knows the condition of the rider, can they please leave a comment below.


  1. Now if there had only been one officer in attendance and they were more interested in taking photographs of tattoos you would have a story. Instead you simply have division of labour without waste of time or other resources.

  2. This is an odd story made alarmist out of assumptions and conclusions by people not privy to the reasons for the officer’s actions. As detailed in the article there were already a number of ambulance personnel present as well as other police officers performing accident scene duties. Incident scene management can appear very strange at times if the onlooker is not aware of the allocated function of a team member.
    I am sure the very same people who are whining about this officers actions would be applauding the same evidence collection activities if it turned out that it exposed a wrongdoer.

    1. Jude , I have to disagree . Photographing somebody’s tattoos while they are lying injured in the side of the road is akin to kicking someone while they are already down , it may be that the Officer didn’t breach any guidelines , but that doesn’t make it ethical . I also refer you to the post above yours by Doug Cox , should you still be left in any doubt about the QPS being a ‘ Service ‘ .

  3. Having recently resigned from the Queensland Fire & Rescue Service, one of the last jobs I attended was a fatal motorcycle accident. The rider wore a vest but rode a bike that police should have known that outlaw club members would not ride. Even though they could have waited until the body arrived at the morgue, orders came through from the hierarchy that the police on the scene were to turn the body over and check the back of his vest for an OMC patch. I was disgusted and sickened and now have nothing but contempt for the Queensland police and LNP.

  4. It is offensive to be more interested in the tattoos than the health and welfare of the rider, even though he wasn’t wearing the appropriate gear. More than offensive, this a gross invasion of his civil liberties. He is defenseless, in and out of consciousness, and unable to prevent this treatment happening to him. Did no one present try to stop the officer?

  5. I am very disappointed by this report as anyone would be, even the vast majority of police. Isn’t it sad that this one person can brand the whole force. OK, he isn’t the only one but the vast majority a decent blokes (and girls).

    I hope the rider is OK and perhaps he has learned the value of decent riding gear.

    1. I also hope this rider is ok, I would also like to point out Ray, that sadly, one rider (not wearing decent riding gear) can brand the entire motorcycling public (and associates) as criminals in the eyes of a government. I agree the majority of police are only doing their job, and are having a hard time with these changes in the laws. I also believe the majority of motorcyclists, outlaw, recreational, commuter or just those who prefer a bike for transport are decent family members who work for a living. The number of Harley’s registered on Australian roads far exceeds the number of “Bikies” who are known to police.

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