Kawhia attack: Offender identified by police

By Cassandra Mason

Kawhia Wharf, where a policeman was set upon by up to five people as he attempted to arrest a man for an outstanding warrant.  Photo / Jason Dorday
Kawhia Wharf, where a policeman was set upon by up to five people as he attempted to arrest a man for an outstanding warrant. Photo / Jason Dorday

Police investigating an assault on a Kawhia police officer on Friday night have identified one offender and withdrawn charges against another man.

Firefighters were called to help Constable Perry Griffin when he was knocked to the ground at Kawhia wharf on Friday evening by a group who kicked him, and took his Taser, radio and pepper spray.

Information from a member of the public had to the identification of one of the alled attackers, who was described as wearing a blue shirt and who allegedly knocked Mr Griffin to the ground.

"Inquiries in relation to formally establishing what role this person played in the attack are continuing and this identification has been as a direct result of assistance provided by the local community concerned about the attack on a person they describe as `one of their own', said Inspector Paul Carpenter.

Police today also withdrew charges against a 21-year-old arrested close to the scene of the attack.

This was also a result of co-operation from the public.

A community board meeting yesterday showed support for police in Kawhia, with a unanimous vote of confidence in Mr Griffin.

"In addition to the support from locals, the enquiry team have been buoyed by the support shown by visitors who were in the area at the time of the attack and it is this combined community support that is making all the difference as the inquiry continues,'' Mr Carpenter said.

Mr Griffin was reportedly recovering well from the attack and remains on leave.

- NZ Herald

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