Arrests follow armed brawl

By Sam Hurley

Knives and scissors were used during the brawl near the Hastings clock tower. Photo/File
Knives and scissors were used during the brawl near the Hastings clock tower. Photo/File

Hastings CBD was the scene of more violent crime yesterday, with four men arrested for fighting with weapons following "threats" the previous night.

Knives and scissors were used during the brawl, involving up to eight people, near the Hastings clock tower just after midday.

Police said at least two of the group were carrying knives and one brandished a pair of scissors during the fracas.

Two adults and two youths were arrested and charged with a number of offences including possessing an offensive weapon, disorderly behaviour, resisting arrest and fighting. One of those held was already wanted by police.

A local retailer witnessed the altercation and praised the nearby City Assist patrol for keeping the public safe from the group of mainly "violent teenagers".

"They started pulling knives and that sort of thing but the City Assist guys were fantastic - they are worth their weight in gold."

She said since the introduction of the City Assist patrol at the end of last year, youth crime had dropped significantly.

"We don't see that sort of stuff as much as we used to, it used to be horrible. Nearly every day we would have a fight ... sometimes more than one a day."

Hastings District Council security manager Merv Dudley said the members of the City Assist patrol were near the clock tower as the skirmish broke out.

"They did a fantastic job but as far as I'm concerned, when there are weapons involved, this goes well beyond the call of duty.

"They did a commendable job and were able to observe the fight, protect the public and call the police - one of the staff was also able to talk down one of the kids with a knife."

Police believe the fight stemmed from threats made to one of the group the night before.

"Anyone carrying weapons in a public place can expect to be arrested and charged with a serious offence," Senior Sergeant Greg Brown said.

"Police have a zero tolerance approach to this sort of behaviour and we urge anyone who thinks they can present or use these weapons to think again. There are serious consequences for this type of behaviour."

No one was injured in the fight and there were no indications it was gang-related.

Meanwhile, police said a group of youths were reportedly preparing for a fight near Flaxmere Park last night.

Police units, including dog handlers, arrived at the park about 6.30pm after reports of weapons including shivs, homemade knife-like weapons, were seen.

"Once they saw the police arrive they all just scurried-off in different directions," a police spokesman said.

"There was talk about a knife and weapons being involved but as we arrived and combed the area we didn't find anything." No arrests were made.

- Hawkes Bay Today

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 27 Nov 2014 14:48:02 Processing Time: 949ms