Police have arrested a man at a Townsville hotel who crossed the Queensland border after being asked to turn around. Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate
Police have arrested a man at a Townsville hotel who crossed the Queensland border after being asked to turn around. Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate

BUSTED: Cops catch Vic man in Townsville hotel

A Victorian man has been arrested in Townsville accused of fleeing his state in an alleged stolen car, dodging Queensland border patrols and hiding out in a city hotel.

Daniel Barrass, 29, was eventually caught after a long trip up the east coast brought him to Townsville where he reportedly intended to meet-up with a woman he met online.

His efforts to leave his state came as the area was gripped by COVID-19 and many safety restrictions were in place, including strict border controls.

The Townsville Bulletin understands Barrass was caught at the Mitchell Highway border controls about 2am in mid-May.

Due to a lack of resources in the rural area, he was instead asked to turn around and head back to Victoria.

The warning did not deter him and he allegedly made his way across the Queensland border on an unmarked back road.

Barrass was arrested on May 22 at a hotel in the city and faced court last week charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a motor vehicle, possession of property suspected of having been used in an offence under the Drugs Misuse Act and obstruct police.

Police did not comment about whether he had been charged with breaching the Chief Health Officer's directive for allegedly crossing the border without a permit, ignoring police direction and failing to self-isolate.

Traffic at the border crossing from NSW on the last day of school holidays. Photograph : Jason O'Brien
Traffic at the border crossing from NSW on the last day of school holidays. Photograph : Jason O'Brien

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk enforced strict border controls for Victorian visitors from Friday, with most people being turned away if they tried to enter Queensland.

Ms Palaszczuk said exemptions would apply to Queenslanders returning from Vic­toria for essential specialist work, as well as for legal, health or compassionate grounds, but they must quarantine for 14 days at their expense. Queensland Health has been contacted for comment.

Dozens of people have already been turned around at the border as queue of cars lined the highways at the weekend.

Barrass was remanded in custody until his next court date on July 17.

Originally published as BUSTED: Cops catch Vic man in Townsville hotel



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