An alleged thief landed in hot water while trying to flee police and hiding in a thermal pool.
Rotorua police had to drag the man from a hot pool on Friday after he jumped in trying to escape them - while wearing handcuffs. Police said the man was sent to hospital in a critical condition but he was not suffering burns; rather he'd been vomiting and extremely unwell after the incident.
By yesterday afternoon he was released from hospital.
Police allege he'd been stealing from cars in central Rotorua. Two police dogs tracked him to the Sulphur Flats area, near the Polynesian Spa on the edge of Lake Rotorua, where he was found "completely immersed".
District Commander Glenn Dunbier said he was handcuffed but while walking back to the police car suddenly took off and dived into another thermal pool. After he went under the water, the two arresting officers realised he was in trouble and one leapt in and dragged him to safety. That officer was not injured in any way. The man is due to appear in court on October 26.