Rooftop drama as man tries to evade police

By MORGAN TAIT AND PATRICK O'SULLIVAN

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A drunk man led police on a dramatic chase across rooftops in central Hastings yesterday, before he was tackled, cuffed and removed using a fire engine ladder.

The man, who told police at the scene he was a 31-year-old from Havelock North, was allegedly intoxicated and damaging cars in the central business district about 4.45pm when concerned onlookers called police.

Hastings Police constable Andy Clinton said when the man saw the patrol car, he tried to escape by running into The Rotten Apple Backpackers. "We received reports of a drunk guy kicking in cars just along Heretaunga Street," he said.

"By the time I caught up with him he saw the car and shot up into the backpackers and a couple of the residents up there had indicated that he locked himself into the bathroom and wouldn't get out."


 


The man smashed the bathroom window to climb through, and made a getaway over roof awnings and verandas.

"He smashed a window to get out on to the awnings and we've kicked in the bathroom door to get to him," said Mr Clinton.

The man ran along as far as the Karamu Rd shops at the corner of Queen Street, atop Stanton Print Shop and opposite Hawke's Bay Today Hastings office.

"We followed him out the window and basically chased him around here where he could go no further, and apprehended him."

The man lay on his stomach and was handcuffed by two officers, before a fire engine arrived to safely lift him off the roof with the ladder.

Mr Clinton said the man was arrested and charges were likely to follow.

Crowds of people had gathered on Karamu Rd to watch the dramatic chase, despite yesterday's afternoon rain. Rotten Apple Backpackers owner Jason Heard said his clients were unperturbed and found the incident exciting.

"They thought it was quite entertaining. It was just so instantaneous," he said.

"He went upstairs and into one of our bathrooms with the police chasing him.

"He kicked out the window, the police kicked in the door and they chased him right across the verandas and the roofs until they caught him."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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