Home and Away star Josh Quong Tart cannot remember ‘threatening to rape’ a policewoman after being found walking around naked in a train station car park.
Earlier that day Quong Tart had crashed his car into a median strip, been detained by members of the public and wet himself while intoxicated in custody.
Quong Tart has escaped conviction – or any penalty – for his one-man drunken crime wave after he was found not to be legally responsible for his actions.
A court heard Quong Tart suffered from alcohol problems, post traumatic stress syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
He had also sustained a head injury in the car crash which led to him being overcome by delirium and may have contributed to subsequent events.
The actor, who has appeared in All Saints, McLeod’s Daughters and Underbelly, was involved in three run-ins with police over two days two months apart.
Quong Tart was charged with resisting arrest, wilful and obscene exposure and intimidating a police officer in a bizarre confrontation south of Sydney last November.
The 44-year-old from Newtown was also charged with assaulting police, resisting arrest, and offensive behavior in Sydney in January.
He successfully sought to have all six matters dealt with under the Mental Health Act at Wollongong Local Court on Monday.
Quong Tart’s lawyer said his client had been under stress and self-medicating with alcohol. ‘All of this he doesn’t recall at all,’ the lawyer told the court.
Quong Tart’s troubles with the law began when he refused a breath test at Unanderra near Wollongong about 4.30pm on November 24.
Members of the public had earlier called police after seeing Quong Tart crash into a median strip on the Princes Highway at Albion Park Rail then continue swerving over the road.
He was subsequently removed from his vehicle, held down on a grass verge by several men and placed under citizen’s arrest.
When police arrived Quong Tart refused to submit to a breath test and told officers, ‘I hate you f***ing people. F*** you.’
Quong Tart was handcuffed and taken to a police station where officers observed he smelt strongly of intoxicating liquor.
‘The accused was very unsteady on his feet and barely able to lift himself off the ground,’ a statement of facts said. ‘The accused also lost control of his bladder and wet his pants during his time in his cell.’
Quong Tart was eventually released after his car keys were seized and he was dropped off at Thirroul train station to find his way home.
About an hour after his release, shortly before 8pm, police were called to the train station where they found Quong Tart naked and attempting to unlock someone else’s car.
He resisted arrest, kicked a constable and was again taken into custody.
Back at the police station Quong Tart bombarded officers with threats including, ‘F*** you c***s, I’ll have you’ and ‘I’m going to f*** you up, c***s’.
He called one female officer a ‘s***t’ and told her ‘I’ll rape you,’ according to a police statement of facts tendered in court.
Police initially refused him bail, with an officer stating in court documents: ‘The accused’s behaviour whilst in a public place is nothing short of deplorable.’
‘The accused threatened to rape female police officers and was seen walking on a busy street completely naked.
‘The accused’s conduct towards police was absolutely disgusting, disrespectful and at times intimidating to female staff.’
Quong Tart’s recent problems with alcohol and police were outlined in a statement of facts tendered to the court.
‘The accused has come under increasing police notice due to his behaviour including violent and alcohol related offences,’ the statement said.
‘The accused is currently under bail conditions for these offences and it is suspected the accused will continue to come under further police notice in the future without sufficient intervention.’
Quong Tart played Miles ‘Milco’ Copeland in Home and Away from 2007 to 2011, Matt Horner in All Saints and Andrew Perish in Underbelly: Badness.
He also appeared as Scar in the 2013-2016 stage production of Disney’s The Lion King which toured Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
The Sydney offences were committed the night after Quong Tart finished playing the lead role in the raunchy cabaret drag show Betty Blokk-Buster Reimagined.
That confrontation with police began when he was spotted on the median strip of William Street, Darlinghurst, ‘waving his hands in the air erratically’ on January 27.
While police were stopped at traffic lights about 10.50pm a member of the public approached them and said ‘that guy over there just assaulted a taxi driver then took off.’
Officers lost sight of Quong Tart but were directed by pedestrians to another taxi parked nearby.
When police asked the driver of that cab if he had a passenger in the back he nodded and said yes.
‘Police then observed the accused in the rear left seat of the taxi appearing to hide from police sight,’ the statement of facts said.
Two constables then approached the vehicle and attempted to speak to Quong Tart.
‘The accused immediately became hostile towards police, shouting aggressively “f*** off”, “get the f*** away from me”, “f*** off”.’
Police activated their body camera videos and called for back-up.
‘The accused continued to shout aggressively, stating similar phrases… causing saliva to come from his mouth and land on the inside of the window of the taxi.’
While one constable held the taxi’s door closed from the outside, Quong Tart began punching the window from the inside.
Quong Tart then left the vehicle from the unprotected rear passenger door and was followed by police including Constable Kory Sonter.
‘The accused then turned around and with his right hand in a fist threw a punch at Constable Sonter striking him above his right eye,’ the statement of facts said.
‘Constable Sonter then utilised a defensive strike, taking the accused to the ground.’
As Constable Sonter and a female colleague attempted to handcuff Quong Tart he continued to violently resist. He was finally restrained when further police arrived.
Quong Tart was taken to Surry Hills police station where he caused more trouble.
‘Whilst attempting to move the accused into a cell the accused continued to resist police, attempting to pull away from their grasp,’ the statement of facts said.
‘The accused was placed into the cell however then ran towards the opening of the door and placed his hands between the door and the frame of the cell to prevent it closing.
‘The accused was required to again be restrained by a number of officers before he was successfully contained in the cell.’
Quong Tart was so aggressive and non-cooperative he was not offered the opportunity to be electronically interviewed.
The night before the melee Quong Tart had finished an 18-night run as the title character in Betty Blokk-Buster Reminagined at the Magic Mirror Spiegeltent in Hyde Park.
The court heard Quong Tart had suffered PTSD since being wrongly arrested and released without charge in 2000. Since then, any interaction with police caused ‘automatic arousal triggers’.
He had also been driving a vehicle when a mother and her children stepped out in front of him in 1998. The mother ended up in a coma and the children were taken to hospital.
His defence lawyer said Quong Tart had been subjected to harsh physical discipline by his father as a child and homophobic bullying in high school.
Prior to his arrest Quong Tart had been drinking half a bottle of vodka a day for 12 months.
Earlier this year he completed a four-week program at a private rehabilitation facility on the New South Wales north coast.
Downing Centre Local Court heard on May 27 that Quong Tart was a ‘decent man’ who ‘abhors’ violence and his offending was totally out of character.
He had cared for an elderly neighbour, worked in aged care facilities and guided young people in the entertainment industry.
‘He is in many respects an outstanding citizen,’ his defence lawyer said.
Magistrate Alison Viney accepted Quong Tart had PTSD but refused his application for the offences to be dealt with under the Mental Health Act rather than the criminal law.
‘Whilst I accept that there is a mental condition suffered by the applicant there is also alcohol involved in the commission of these offences,’ she said.
Another application was made under the same legislation before Magistrate Susan McGowan at Wollongong Local Court covering both sets of offending.
Ms McGowan said alcohol had played a part in Quong Tart’s behaviour but used her discretion under the Act and decided not to deal with the matters as crimes.
‘It must have been disturbing for anyone who came into contact with Mr Quong Tart on those evenings,’ she said.
‘He has no clear recollection of doing any of these things.
‘There seems to be a theme… of excessive drinking of alcohol, self-medicating.’
Ms McGowan ordered Quong Tart, who pleaded guilty to refusing a breath test, to comply with a psychiatric treatment program and abstain from alcohol and illicit drugs for six months.
For refusing a breath test she disqualified him from driving for seven months and convicted him on a 12-month community correction order.
The actor is a descendant of prominent 19th century Chinese-born Sydney merchant Mei Quong Tart, who died in July 1903 less than a year after being robbed and bashed in the Queen Victoria Building.