SA Police respond after man turns tables on officer in viral TikTok

Police in South Australia have responded to an awkward "gotcha" moment during a roadside stop after a video of the incident went viral on social media platform TikTok.

An Adelaide driver was pulled over by an officer late last month and began filming the encounter once he realised his motorbike was being issued with a defect notice.

In a string of videos posted online, the man identified by The Adelaide Advertiser as 24-year-old Theo Glibo, meticulously chronicled his run-in with the law.

Facing a penalty for a blue-coloured light on the front of his Honda bike, which he argued was how it came from the factory, Mr Glibo noticed a potentially more dangerous defect on the police vehicle. Holding his camera phone close to the front right tyre showed the tread was badly worn.

The videos have racked up hundred of thousands of views, prompting a police response. Source: TikTok/RIPhondagrom
The videos have racked up hundred of thousands of views, prompting a response from SA Police. Source: TikTok/RIPhondagrom

In one video, viewed more than 1.5 million times, he explained the situation as the officer prepared to write up the defect notice.

"This officer is going to defect my bike for a blue light and he's got bald tyres.

"Have a look right here, tell me what you think of this," Mr Glibo implored to the officer.

"If this was anybody else’s tyre, you’d defect it. Where’s the wear bar on that?"

Now outside the car, the unnamed officer, realising he hasn't got much of a defence, quickly concedes.

"You’re absolutely right, so I will defect that when I get back to my office,” he responded.

"No, can you defect it now?" Mr Glibo shot back.

The police officer was caught out over a bald tyre. Source: TikTok/RIPhondagrom
The police officer was caught out over a bald tyre. Source: TikTok/RIPhondagrom

In a separate clip, the officer tries to stand in front of the tyre to block the view as he writes up the notice.

"He's not even going to defect his own car," Mr Glibo complained.

"You're a hypocrite."

According to the South Australian government's long list of potential vehicle defects, bald tyres are considered to make a car or bike unroadworthy.

"Vehicles become unroadworthy for many reasons. These can include obvious faults, such as bald tyres and faulty brakes, or when the vehicle no longer meets or does not conform to the Road Traffic Act and Regulations and the Australian Design Rules," the opening line of the state's Vehicle Standards Fact Sheet says.

Police respond to viral TikTok

South Australia Police have since issued a statement, saying the bald tyre issue has been addressed.

"South Australia Police are aware of the social media post relating to an interaction between a SAPOL employee and a member of the public where the police vehicle was identified to have a bald tyre.

"SAPOL have taken steps to address this matter," it said.

As For Mr Glibo, the widespread attention prompted an update to the bio on his TikTok page.

"Cars, bikes and me defect encounters w sapol," it jokes.

He told the Advertiser the defect notice only ended up costing him $62. Perhaps a small price to pay for the 15 minutes of fame.

SA Police would not say if a defect notice of fine was issued for the bald tyre on the police vehicle.

"Section 45 and 46 of the PCDA (Police Complaints and Discipline Act 2016) preclude SAPOL from commenting on disciplinary matters," a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

Minor defect fines in the state typically accrue a $120 penalty.

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