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‘Several plans’ to arrest Bourke St killer

After the first successful ping in a St Kilda street, former police sergeant Frank Caridi sought the help of the critical incident response team to attend and box in the offender so he could be arrested, but was refused.

Mr Caridi, who has since left the police force, was in charge of the overall response, then returned to the office to do paperwork as Gargasoulas remained at large.

His superior, acting Inspector Filzek, said he had confidence the sergeant was coordinating local police units to find the offender.

“There’s no reason to believe he wasn’t doing a good resolution strategy,” acting Inspector Filzek said.

“If I had every resource available in the world I would’ve loved to have located the offender.”

But he agreed under cross-examination by counsel assisting, Stephen O’Meara, police units were available but he “felt Sergeant¬†Caridi was deploying them as necessary”.

When asked if Mr Caridi was incompetent, he couldn’t comment based on “one thing he did or didn’t do”.

“I felt Sergeant¬†Caridi was doing the best he possibly could at the time,” he said.

James Gargasoulas did "doughnuts" outside Flinders Street Station minutes before he murdered six people on Bourke Street.

James Gargasoulas did “doughnuts” outside Flinders Street Station minutes before he murdered six people on Bourke Street.

Acting Inspector Filzek believed “several plans” were in place to arrest Gargasoulas, including tracking him by phone, calls on police radio to keep lookouts and that he surrender to St Kilda police station.

He did not recall saying the words “there’s nothing we can do” after being denied the CIRT support.

“The CIRT in my mind was just one possible option.”


Acting Inspector Filzek said part of his job was to direct people if things didn’t appear to be getting done but “not micromanage them”.

He also said he understood the critical incident response team were always going to make themselves available and he requested they monitor the incident.

Response members from the team got involved in the arrest later that day and shot at Gargasoulas in the CBD after he ran down and killed six people.

Gargasoulas, who suffers paranoid schizophrenia, was jailed in February for at least 46 years.

The inquest continues.


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