Dramatic weekend for Bay police

By Matthew Martin

Three woman have appeared in court after a 17-year-old Opotiki girl was assaulted and abducted in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It appeared the young girl had been involved in fight with three other women who then pulled her into their vehicle and drove off.

The attackers allegedly drove the victim outside the township and left her on the side of the road.

Three women, aged 32, 20 and 21 years, appeared in the Whakatane District Court this morning, facing various charges including kidnapping, threatening to kill and injuring with intent.

All three women have been bailed to reappear in court on October 11.

This was one of three serious incidences that kept Bay of Plenty police busy at the weekend.

Emergency services were also called to a fatal vehicle crash near Ruatoki and a home invasion in Kawerau.

A Taneatua man, believed to be in his 30s, was found dead in a ditch by an off duty fire service officer about 10.15am yesterday, a police northern communications spokesman said.

The Tauranga Police Serious Crash Unit was called to Awahou Rd, about 3km south of Taneatua township, where it is understood the man's motorbike crashed through a barrier.

About midday yesterday red cones were placed along the road and a group of people, believed to be relatives of the dead man, surrounded the body.

Meanwhile police are investigating a home invasion, burglary and alleged sexual assault of a 32-year-old Kawerau woman.

Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Standen of the Kawerau Police said a man allegedly broke into the woman's home, sexually assaulting her while she was asleep in her bedroom, with other members of the household were sleeping in a nearby room.

The woman fought the man off during a short struggle before he escaped.

Police completed a scene examination and an investigation is now under way.

The victim, who shares the home with other adults, was very disturbed and shocked over the intrusion.

Police said the nature of the incident has left the woman very upset.

She described her attacker as Maori, possibly in his 30s.

If you have any information about any of the weekend's incidences, contact Kawarau or Opotiki Police on (07) 323 1400, (07) 315 1110, or anonymously on (0800) 555 111.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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