A MAN hailed for his bravery after rescuing a drowning Korean student found the adulation shortlived after ending up in a police cell days later.
Daniel Raymond McVey, 26, was featured on the front page of his home town’s newspaper, portrayed as a reluctant hero two weeks ago.
Days later the rescuer earned a different kind of fame after appearing in Coffs Harbour Local Court, where police unsuccessfully sought to have bail refused. His alleged crime: possessing a taser inside the popular Pier Hotel, where a mate allegedly discharged the electric shock weapon.
It was a very different story earlier in the week, when police were considering McVey for a bravery award nomination.
Of the rescue, McVey told The Coffs Coast Advocate he broke from enjoying a builders’ picnic day to rescue the woman.
She had entered Coffs Creek and was struggling. By the time he reached the student she was lapsing in and out of consciousness.
"I got to her and put her on her side as I swam her to the edge of the creek," he said. "I got her to the edge and had help from bystanders to drag her up. They had already rung the ambulance."
McVey began to clear the woman’s airways and placed her in the recovery position. "A nurse came and took over. I was stuffed," he said.
Four nights later, on Friday, December 5, police arrested the local hero and a 23-year-old man and seized a taser after it was allegedly discharged inside the Pier Hotel.
Police were called in response to reports that a man had activated a taser in the building, then had allegedly threatened a woman on the street, between 9pm and 9.30pm.
McVey and the other man were found in nearby Collingwood Street a short time later. They allegedly ran into a unit but were arrested after capsicum spray was used to subdue them.
Police will allege a taser was located during a search of the unit. The men were taken to Coffs Harbour police station, where they were charged.
McVey has been charged with possession and use of a prohibited weapon and resisting arrest.
The 23-year-old man was charged with indecent assault, possession of a prohibited weapon, use of a prohibited weapon and resisting arrest.
The men, both from Coffs Harbour, were granted bail to appear in court again on January 12.