INDEPENDENT NEWS

Two men appearing in court following fleeing driver incident

Published: Tue 19 Nov 2019 04:13 PM
Acting Inspector Rob Huys, Area Commander for Whangarei/Kaipara:
Northland Police are aware of footage circulating on social media showing a man being arrested over the weekend in Whangarei by a Police officer with the assistance of a police dog.
In the early hours of Sunday 17th November, a Police dog handler was proactively patrolling in known areas where there is currently an increased risk of crime.
At around 3am, the officer spotted a suspicious vehicle in Otangarei and signalled for the vehicle to pull over.
The driver of the Audi vehicle allegedly failed to stop for Police and a short pursuit commenced.
The vehicle came to a stop a short time later on William Jones Drive and the officer was able to block the Audi with his Police vehicle.
The officer, who was alone at the time, requested back up and approached the vehicle, however the two occupants refused orders to exit the vehicle.
The occupants appeared to be reaching for weapons inside the vehicle and the officer subsequently used pepper spray on the two men.
Another Police officer quickly arrived at the scene and the passenger in the vehicle was removed and apprehended without further incident.
The driver continued to refuse orders to exit the vehicle before he was eventually removed by Police.
He then ran from our staff and attempted to flee the scene.
The alleged offender was apprehended by the dog handler with the assistance of their Police dog, who bit the man’s arm, however he continued to resist arrest while on the ground.
Once the alleged offender was safely apprehended, immediate medical assistance was given to him for treatment for dog bites.
A search of the vehicle at the scene by Police allegedly uncovered a quantity of methamphetamine and weapons including a machete.
The alleged driver, a 31-year-old male who had an active warrant for his arrest, was charged with a number of offences including failing to stop, driving while disqualified, refusing to give blood specimen and possession of an offensive weapon.
He is due to appear in the Whangarei District Court tomorrow.
A 28-year-old man is next due to appear in the Whangarei District Court on 25th November facing methamphetamine charges as well as possession of an offensive weapon.
Acting Inspector Rob Huys says Police commend the brave actions displayed by the dog handler, who with the assistance of his dog and another officer, successfully apprehended two alleged offenders.
“This was a volatile, unpredictable situation involving an offender who allegedly possessed a weapon, displayed concerning behaviour and attempted to flee from Police in his vehicle and then again on foot.
“The officer did what was necessary to successfully apprehend the alleged offender with the assistance of his police dog and I applaud him for his actions at the scene.
“As is often the case, the footage on social media only shows a small part of the entire incident and doesn’t illustrate the alleged offender’s actions before being apprehended, nor does it show the risk faced by our officer at the scene.
“I also want to acknowledge that our officers ensured that immediate first aid was made available for the alleged offender who received dog bites.
“I want to reassure the Northland community that Police officers are working hard each and every day to keep the public safe.
We also reiterate that if you are ever signalled to pull over by Police, please do so immediately, to avoid creating further unnecessary risk to yourselves, our police officers and the general public.”

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