11 November, 2014. 14:48
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | [email protected]
One of Betoota’s most vibrant personalities has been banned from the only hotel in town after biting a tourist.
The incident occurred last night at approximately 2am when it’s alleged Steven the Snake forced entry to a caravan and attacked a 67-year-old man.
The Royal Flying Doctor’s service was notified and arrived on the scene some time after breakfast this morning.
“They had to close the highway for over an hour,” says stockman Bruce Parker.
“I don’t think anybody way late for work, though [laughs].”
The victim, Ernest Comerthon of Bateman’s Bay on NSW’s South Coast, is listed as being in a serious but stable in Alice Springs Base Hospital.
Mr Comerthon’s wife, Hyacinth, says that Steven appeared to be intoxicated during the ordeal.
“I could smell the terrible stench of ale,” says Mrs Comerthon.
“It happened so quickly.”
Detectives from Charleville are expected to arrive before Christmas but they traditionally are quite slow to get out here.
“We’ll be other there soon,” says Detective Grant Sommers.
“Twice a year we do a run around these small towns and try to solve as many crimes as we can before we leave,”
Steven the Snake is the former face of the Betoota Tourism Board but was forced to step down in 2011 after ICAC revealed he took kickbacks from a oil exploration firm.