Father and son’s brutal attack on man at Southside chemist
A GYMPIE father and son stood together in court this week charged with beating up their neighbour in a Southside store, leaving him with a bloody nose and injuries to the head.
Paul Francis Strandquist, 53, and Tyrone Eric Strandquist, 20, both pleaded guilty to unlawfully assaulting Steven Cumner in the company of another person (each other) in Gympie Magistrates Court this week.
The court heard Mr Cumner was the Strandquist’s neighbour, and there had been ongoing arguments between the two families, with Mr Cumner threatening to kill the Strandquists, and once “shooting an arrow into their yard”.
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On May 29, Paul and Tyrone Strandquist saw Mr Cumner point “finger guns” at them and mouth “bang, bang” before going into Malouf chemist at the Southside shopping centre, Tyrone Strandquist’s lawyer said.
The court heard this set Tyrone off, and not being able to “hold in his anger” he followed Mr Cumner into the pharmacy, pushed his partner out of the way and began swinging punches at him.
The court heard Tyrone pushed Mr Cumner to the ground and continued to throw punches as he was on the floor, until a friend of the victim’s intervened, pulling Tyrone off.
At this point, Tyrone’s father jumped in, held down Mr Cumner and kept punching him as the victim’s partner tried to stop him, the court heard.
Tyrone broke free after a struggle with the man’s friend, and began punching the victim again before trying to drag him out of the store, followed by his father.
Mr Cumner’s friend stepped in to stop the attack again, and the Strandquists eventually left the chemist, which was in disarray with shelves and stock strewn around.
The victim was left with a bloody nose, and the court heard most of the punches and his injuries were to his head.
On June 6, Tyrone Strandquist told police in an interview that he had lost his temper after Mr Cumner provoked them with the finger gestures, and that there had been numerous incidents between their two households.
The court heard Tyrone had since voluntarily paid the pharmacy almost $500 for the damages he and his father caused during the fight.
Tendering a letter from his doctor, Paul Strandquist’s defence lawyer said her client had “significant medical issues”, including an epilepsy disorder which he was managing, and symptoms of frontal lobe disorder, which included a lack of impulse control.
She said he let Mr Cumner “get under his skin” and had no excuse for his behaviour, and had been following his son.
Tyrone’s lawyer said her client, who was 19 at the time of the offence, had been referred to a psychologist, and had previous anxiety and anger management issues.
She said the attack was “out of character” for Tyrone, who took full responsibility and was remorseful.
Magistrate Chris Callaghan condemned the duo’s actions, and said it was uncivilised.
“You shouldn’t have gone into the pharmacy and gone at him,” Mr Callaghan told Tyrone.
“You’re a big lad, and two on one is never good. I don’t like that.
“And you should have been telling your son not to do it rather than jumping in after him and having a go,” Mr Callaghan told the father.
“It’s appalling behaviour.”
Mr Callaghan fined Paul Strandquist $600, and sentenced his son to 12 months on probation.
No convictions were recorded against either man.