Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The Bird of Doom: Aussie deported from Dubai for showing middle finger

From 7 Days Monday 27 Apr, 2009

The press here refers to this incident as "road rage". Wussies! In NZ, "road rage" means that there is a "road incident" either real or imaginery and as a result someone's chased at high speed and run off the road or physically attacked, stabbed, shot or bludgeoned with a baseball bat (and that's just what the senior citizens do, the juniors get really serious!)

Q: And what happened to the individual whose dangerous driving led to Mr O'Mullane's outburst?
A: Absolutely nothing.

An Australian nurse who was deported for showing his middle finger to a motorist has warned expats to be extra careful how they behave. “I want people to be aware of the law because I don’t want anyone to go through what my wife and I have been through,” Darren O’Mullane said.

Darren spoke to 7DAYS less than a week after he was deported for showing his middle finger to an Emirati driver on Sheikh Zayed Road. He was deported after spending 24 days in Dubai Central Jail, while his English wife, Marie, had to give up their apartment, cars and family pet and uproot to start a new life in Australia.

“It has been very, very stressful,” said Marie. “Darren’s a very honest person. He admitted what he did and he paid the price,” she said.

The couple are now living at Darren’s parents home in New South Wales while he looks for a job in Sydney.

Darren admits he was wrong but recalls he had just completed a 13-hour shift in the intensive care unit of Dubai’s American Hospital late last year. He says he was in a bad mood because a patient suffering from alcohol withdraw had attacked him and he had to rush to stop a schizophrenic woman from harming herself. “I was stressed and tired and in a bad mood and just wanted to get home,” he said. He encountered a motorist weaving between lanes and said the driver’s vehicle nearly crashed into his.

Darren lifted his middle finger in anger as he passed the car and kept driving toward his home in Dubai Marina.

“The guy in the car started following me. He was right up behind me flashing his lights. I went around one roundabout eight times but he stayed on me. I drove past my home many times but he kept following, even when I made it home,” he said. When the man got out of the car, Darren saw that he was in his early 20s. “I said ‘leave me alone’ and went into the house.”

Police called him later that night to say they had received a complaint. He went to the police station and admitted what he had done. A police officer said that he wanted to let Darren go, but said the driver, who was an officer in the UAE armed forces, was insisting on lodging a complaint.
“I didn’t think the consequences of telling the truth would be so harsh,” Darren said. “I’d like other people to be very careful. You’re in a different country and the laws are not always the same.”

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