Kain Gilgen was hanging out his washing, police jumped his  front fence and tackled him to the ground. It was a case of mistaken identity.
Kain Gilgen was hanging out his washing, police jumped his front fence and tackled him to the ground. It was a case of mistaken identity. Warren Lynam

Man doing washing mistaken for alleged escapee

IT WAS a case of wrong-place wrong-time for Kain Gilgen when he found himself caught up in a police manhunt for a prisoner who allegedly assaulted a police officer and fled from the Maroochydore Court House.

Mr Gilgen, a 24-year-old maintenance worker, was hanging out his washing in his Cotton Tree yard when police patrolling the area received information the man they were looking for had jumped a fence into a yard nearby.

"I started doing my washing and I've just gone to put a shirt on the line and looked out to the road and saw a cop car slowly drive down the road, and thought nothing of it," Mr Gilgen said.

"Then I picked up another shirt and looked over and the police were coming over the fence towards me yelling at me to get on the ground."

Maroochydore Police Station Officer In Charge, Senior Sergeant Gavin Marsh, said the alleged escapee had been half-naked and when officers saw Mr Gilgen "wearing very little and actually taking clothes off a clothes line", they had to act.

"They've seen a half-naked male taking clothes off the clothes line," he said.

"It's one of those things that has unfortunately happened.

"At the time they had to take action."

Snr Sgt Marsh said officers called for Mr Gilgen to stop what he was doing and drop to the ground, but afterwards confirmed he was not the man they were looking for.

Mr Gilgen was lost for words to describe the encounter at his home, roughly 2km from the Maroochydore courthouse.

"It was a shock to say the least," he said.

"I'm laughing about it now, already it's just a funny situation and this cool story, but in saying that I personally think the cops basically stuffed up big time."

He said he wished the police had "asked questions and explained the situation" first.

After establishing Mr Gilgen was not the man they were looking for, officers continued the search and later arrested a 29-year-old man in Mooloolaba.

That man, Dean Andrew Kenning, was charged with escape lawful custody and serious assault of police charges, and remanded in custody to face court on November 9.



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