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Elderly hostage escapes gunman after sexual assault: police

| 09.07,09. 07:45 PM |

Elderly hostage escapes gunman after sexual assault: police

July 9, 2009 - 5:03PM

A man who stabbed a policeman and stole his patrol car has sexually assaulted an elderly hostage at a remote South Australian property, police say.

The woman, aged in her 80s, escaped from the man and alerted police to the whereabouts of the man, who is armed with three high powered rifles and holed up at the Bulyninnie Station, surrounded by police, in the state's north.

Police say there are unconfirmed reports the 32-year-old man, who is known to police, is injured with a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

The man took the woman, who lives at the remote station south of Yunta, hostage after stabbing a policeman and stealing his patrol car early today.

The woman was bound by the hands and sexually assaulted, SA Police Assistant Commissioner Graeme Barton said.

The offender also forced the woman to open her gun safe where the three firearms were kept, he said.

The woman has told police that as she escaped, she heard gun shots and believed the man had shot himself.

Earlier in the day the man was driving a vehicle on the Barrier Highway near Yunta when stopped by a lone policeman for a routine traffic matter at 6.55am (CST).

The man stabbed the policeman in a shoulder and stole his marked patrol car, which was found abandoned near Oak Park Station, off the Barrier Highway, at 10.45am (CST).

The car contained the keys to the Manna Hill police station, where the stabbing victim was the sole police officer.

The policeman, aged in his 40s, was taken to the Peterborough Hospital where another man later arrived with minor injuries, saying he had been struck by the stolen police car about 8am (CST) near Yunta.

Drugs were found in the offender's car.

Mr Barton said police had been unable to contact the man, from Parafield Gardens in Adelaide's north, for hours.

"We are trying to ascertain communication to open negotiations because we have not heard anything since around lunchtime," Mr Barton said.



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