Police officer resigns after firearm threat

By Anna Ferrick of Hawke's Bay Today -
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File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A Hawke's Bay police officer resigned from the force after a Christmas Day incident in which a man stormed a local police station and threatened the officer with an imitation firearm.

Vincent Carmel Mizzi, 44, was charged with threatening to cause grievous bodily harm to three police officers in the early hours of the morning last Christmas Day.

He pleaded guilty to all three charges when he appeared at Napier District Court today.

A police summary of facts said police were called to Mizzi's property after a complaint about noise just after midnight on Christmas Eve.

A police officer who attended the complaint reported Mizzi leapt out of the darkness and threatened to stab him.

The officer seized a stereo at the address and left the house.

At 3.30am on Christmas morning Mizzi presented at the Hastings Police Station and approached an officer at the front counter.

Police said he was agitated and shouting profanities.

He was asked to leave several times. He said he would leave but threatened to return and stab the officer.

During the altercation Mizzi had an imitation firearm concealed beneath his clothing.

The officer at the front counter consulted with a colleague who agreed to help appease the situation.

The colleague entered the station's foyer though an internal door where he was confronted by Mizzi.

At this point Mizzi pulled the imitation firearm from where it was concealed in his clothing and pointed it an the officer in the foyer.

The officer fell backwards and shouted out that Mizzi had a gun.

He remained frozen in his fallen position on the floor while Mizzi momentarily maintained his stance. Mizzi then turned and left the foyer area, dropping the imitation firearm on his way out. He was arrested as he tried to leave the station.

The court heard today that the officer would have had no idea the firearm was an imitation and would have looked just like the real thing.

In excerpts from a victim impact statement read to the court, the officer threatened with the imitation firearm said he had decided to resign from the police following the incident.

He had had flashbacks of the event and had suffered anxiety, resulting in him taking sick leave.

Judge Bridget Mackintosh said the officer eventually decided he did not feel safe in the workplace and the risk was too great for him and his young family.

Mizzi was remanded in custody to reappear for sentencing in October.

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