A 33-YEAR-OLD Bathurst man has been charged with a string of offences following an incident that started at a federal election polling booth on Saturday.
Chifley Police District officers were called to the Bathurst St Stephen's Church Hall polling booth at 5.50pm following reports a heavily intoxicated man was making threats to staff and volunteers.
A worker at the polling booth, who asked not to be named, said the man was a "real handful, swearing and threatening people".
"He was waving his arms around and complaining about voting being compulsory," the worker said.
"He was holding a glass in one hand and a wine cask in the other."
NSW Police Inspector David Abercrombie said when officers arrived the man was observed to be intoxicated and behaving in an offensive manner.
He was observed abusing pedestrians and passing motorists and smashing a wine glass on a moving vehicle.Chifley Police District Inspector David Abercrombie
"Due to his behaviour, a formal move on direction was given to which he was initially compliant," he said.
However, at 6.15pm police were called out again to the same man at a nearby location.
"The man was in the vicinity of a licensed premises on George Street, approximately 400 metres from the polling booth," Inspector Abercrombie said.
"He was observed abusing pedestrians and passing motorists and smashing a wine glass on a moving vehicle.
"He then attempted to enter the licensed premises and he was refused by staff and police were called."
Inspector Abercrombie said the man was then arrested and taken to Bathurst Police Station and was charged with five offences in relation to his behaviour.
The charges include: intimidate police; excluded person remain in vicinity of licensed premises; continue intoxicated behaviour after move on direction given; behave in offensive manner and use offensive language.
Australian Electoral Commission spokesman Evan Ekin-Smith confirmed the incident did occur.
"There was a disturbance which was impeding people's ability to cast a vote," he said.
"Everybody was safe, the election materials were safe."
Inspector Abercrombie has urged the motorist who had the glass thrown against their vehicle to come forward to assist police with their investigation.
The Bathurst man was granted conditional bail to appear in Bathurst Local Court next month.
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