Tunnel arrest: Man was remanded on serious charges

UPDATE 10PM: The man arrested in a tunnel under Charing Cross has been charged with escaping police custody.

Acting Sergeant Wayne Rowe said the latest charge would be heard at a later date.

UPDATE 7.30PM: The man arrested in a tunnel under Charing Cross was earlier remanded in custody in the Bendigo Magistrates Court on serious assault charges.

Nathaniel Cotter, 18, was charged with intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault.

The court heard the charges related to two serious daylight assaults in Bendigo's central business district.

One of the assaults left a young man in hospital for six days.

The court heard that on July 28 Cotter intervened in a fight between his younger brother and a Bendigo Technical Education College student in St Andrews Avenue.

He punched the student three times to the head before the fight was broken up by security staff.

The student fell to the ground bleeding from an ear and his mouth.

He was later hospitalised with concussion.

The court heard that on August 5 Cotter was involved in a verbal altercation with a 16-year-old he had been having ongoing issues with.

Cotter knocked the teenager to the ground and continued to hit him.

The court heard the victim was bleeding from an ear and suffered mild concussion. 

Police opposed bail on the grounds Cotter was an unacceptable risk of reoffending, was likely to abscond and interfere with witnesses.

Cotter's defence said the teenager could argue self-defence in the second assault. 

The court heard Cotter was well aware he needed to get his life in order, particularly since his new girlfriend was pregnant.

Magistrate David Faram refused bail, saying Cotter ''strikes me as a troubled young man".

Magistrate Faram said Cotter "poses a completely unacceptable risk".

Cotter spoke up after Magistrate Faram's decision.

"I want to get my life on track. My actions, what I did was disgusting. I should have been a man and walked away," he said.

Magistrate Faram adjourned the matter until Friday.

UPDATE 7.15PM: Police media have confirmed the man faced court over assault charges.

It is believed he escaped custody from the Bendigo court house at about 5pm today.

He then ran to Bendigo Creek in Rosalind Park and hid in the tunnel under Charing Cross.

Police negotiated with him at the tunnel entrance and took him into custody.

UPDATE 6.10PM: The man has been escorted up a ladder out of Bendigo Creek by police.

He is being taken to a police divisional van nearby.

​The man is coughing and vomiting.

UPDATE 6.05PM: Police have captured the man.

Five police officers are leading the man from the tunnel.

He is handcuffed.

UPDATE 5.55PM: Eight State Emergency Service personnel are setting up equipment in Rosalind Park.

A ladder is being lowered into the creek at the Rosalind Park end of the Charing Cross tunnel.

Police continue to search the area.

Police officers are now stationed at both ends of the tunnel.

UPDATE 5.50PM: The Bendigo Advertiser understands police are searching for a man who escaped police custody after being remanded at the Bendigo Magistrates Court late this afternoon.

UPDATE 5.45PM: State Emergency Service personnel have arrived at Charing Cross to assist police with the tunnel search.

EARLIER: Bendigo police are searching a tunnel under Charing Cross in the Bendigo central business district.

The police operation is taking place near the Bendigo Bank building.

The police search is concentrated around the bridge across Bendigo Creek between Bath Lane and McDonalds.

Police have cordoned off an area between The Good Loaf and The Exchange.

They are patrolling the area.

Six police officers are searching the creek.

More to come.

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