'Police shot me first', court told

By Corey Charlton


A man left paralysed after being shot by police near Otane says he made threats towards the officers only after he was shot.

David Andrew Taite, 49, took the stand at a hearing in the Napier District Court yesterday, claiming he had told police he had a grenade and gun when he was going "berserk" after being shot.

A vehicle he was a passenger in was pulled over on State Highway 2 near Otane on October 20.

He said he had got out of the vehicle with his hands raised, hoping to remedy the situation, and had approached the officers. He didn't hear any warnings to stop as traffic had been driving past. "Because I raised my hands I thought it was safe to just carry on walking over towards him [the police officer].

"It just felt like being punched in the chest.

"I didn't really feel much pain I just starting nutting out. I started going berserk."

He said he was kicked on the ground twice after he had been shot, once in the face, loosening two teeth that had later fallen out.

Under cross-examination, prosecutor Clayton Walker questioned Taite over what he had done to cause the officers to think he had a gun.

Prosecution witnesses had said Taite was grasping a bottle as if threatening to shoot the officers.

Taite's later apology for putting an officer "in that situation" was also raised.

"If he had shot you when you had your hands in the air, you wouldn't be apologising to him, would you?" Mr Walker asked.

Wheelchair-bound Taite has pleaded not guilty to two charges of presenting an object pretending it was a firearm, two of threatening the two police officers, and two charges of dangerous driving during events while being sought by police in the township 48 hours earlier.

He's admitted two charges of burglary and one of unlawfully taking a car in other incidents in the days before the shooting and his capture.

The judge's decision will be released at a later date.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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