Stabbed police officer released from hospital

By Brendan Manning

The officer's police car was left splattered with blood.
The officer's police car was left splattered with blood.

The Auckland police officer stabbed in the face yesterday has been discharged from hospital today, while the man accused of attacking him has appeared in court.

Police have confirmed that Todd Martin, community constable for Mission Bay and St Heliers, was discharged from Auckland Hospital early this afternoon and will spend some time recuperating from his ordeal at home.

Meanwhile, a Mount Wellington man has appeared in the Auckland District Court this morning charged over the facial stabbing.

The 38-year-old has been charged with three counts of assault with a weapon and one of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

His occupation was not listed on court documents.

Mr Martin was attacked with a long-bladed knife yesterday while responding to reports of a man being threatening and abusive.

It is believed Mr Martin was stabbed through the nose. Another officer was believed to have been stabbed with a screwdriver.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Ian McMeeking told media the man was charged with assault with a weapon as opposed to assaulting a police officer as it carried a higher maximum penalty.

Assaulting a police officer carries a maximum charge of three years imprisonment, while assault with a weapon carries a maximum penalty of five years.

Community Magistrate Dianne Hale suppressed the alleged offender's name until his next appearance on October 29.

He has been remanded in custody and ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

Mr Martin was stationed at Newmarket and has been in the police force for nine years.

He was stabbed while talking to a man on Hapimana Rd, which leads from Tamaki Drive to the MJ Savage Memorial Park overlooking the Hauraki Gulf about 10.20am yesterday.

He was with two other officers. All were wearing stab-proof vests.

Acting Auckland commander, Inspector Jim Wilson said Mr Martin was "taken completely by surprise''.

"Without any warning whatsoever the suspect then drew a knife and stabbed him in the face,'' Mr Wilson said.

"At that stage there was no indication he would become violent, he certainly wasn't aggressive at that stage and it would appear that he took the officer completely by surprise.''

Mr Wilson said the suspect then turned his attention to the other officers, one of whom was armed with a Taser.

"They backed off, and it was at that stage then he turned and ran off across the park into some bushes.''

Another officer at a cordon on Patteson Rd saw the suspect riding a bicycle 25 minutes later.

"He thought that [he] was likely to escape so he called upon the [man] to surrender. [He] was clearly intent on leaving the area so the officer pushed him off his bicycle before Tasering him.''

As well as the knife, the alleged offender was carrying tools in a bag which could have been used as a weapon, including a hammer, police said.

The scene were the police officer was stabbed in the face at Bastion Point. Photo / Dean Purcell
The scene were the police officer was stabbed in the face at Bastion Point. Photo / Dean Purcell

- APNZ

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