Police chase finishes at Apata home

By Kiri Gillespie


An Apata man was watching the end of an international cricket match in his lounge when a police pursuit came to a dramatic end outside his doorstep.

The driver of the car has since been charged with eight offences, including the alleged assault of a police dog and its handler.

The Apata man and his family, who did not want to be identified, were relaxing at home down the end of a quiet cul-de-sac about 9pm on Wednesday when a car "came screaming up the driveway", followed by two police cars.

The man said when he went to see who had arrived, the driver tried to turn around in the driveway, crashed into their fence and edge of the home's front deck.

From the same deck yesterday, the man described how the car "went flying" around the corner of the house in attempt to get away.

"He obviously didn't know where he was going," the man said.

"He's reversed backwards and by that time the two police cars had stopped in that part of the driveway.

"Police said 'stay in your car' and the door flew open, he ran straight across the deck and over that [railing] and down the hill."

The man said that although the initial drama only lasted about 10 seconds, he missed the end of the Black Caps' loss to England in the second ODI.

Tauranga's police dog unit was called and tracked the driver a kilometre away in a Pahoia Rd avocado orchard.

Senior Sergeant Carl Purcell said the car had been reported stolen and had been picked up by police in Mount Maunganui about an hour earlier.

However, the driver failed to stop for police and lead them on a pursuit from Mount Maunganui to Greerton before the chase was called off.

The same car was later picked up by police on State Highway 2 at Te Puna, where it was followed to Apata.

In the driver's attempt to flee police on foot, he allegedly assaulted the police dog that caught him and its handler before backup arrived to arrest him.

"He got bitten and even when he was being held by the dog he was still trying to throw punches and kicks," Mr Purcell said.

An 18-year-old male was charged with two counts of wilful damage, reckless driving, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, failing to stop for police, assaults of police, resisting arrest and possession of a utensil used for methamphetamine.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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