Cop assaulted in front of offender's family during raid

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A police officer was repeatedly punched in the face in front of an offender's grandchildren during a stolen firearms raid this week.

Waikato Tactical Crime Unit Detective Sergeant Neville Ross said the ordeal began on Tuesday afternoon when officers had gone to a Kaihere property to speak to a 34-year-old man in relation to an alleged burglary of a home in which a number of guns were stolen some months ago.

"On our arrival at the property the man's 61-year-old father was one of several family members police came across in the lounge while the man we wanted to speak to was asleep in a sleep-out.

"The man's father, who is a licensed firearms owner, offered to show our staff where his legitimately owned firearms were secured in his safe, but when he went into his bedroom accompanied by two of our officers, the father picked up a military style semi-automatic rifle."

The situation became volatile when the father allegedly refused to put the gun down, instead pointing it at the police.

He was then disarmed, however as he was brought out of the bedroom back to the lounge he attacked one of the police officers, punching him repeatedly in the face, Mr Ross said.

At this point the man was restrained, handcuffed and removed from the house.

It was very disappointing that the man's grandchildren were present and had to witness the attack on the officer, Mr Ross said.

While the father was being arrested, his son, who was the person police had originally gone to speak to had been brought from the sleep-out into the house, and allegedly tried to physically prevent officers arresting his father.

"This resulted in the son's arrest. When he was secured a search was conducted of his sleep-out which resulted in the recovery of a small amount of cannabis and a DVD player."

A serial number check of the DVD player revealed it was stolen in 2008, police said.

As a result of the ordeal, the 61-year-old man is facing charges of unlawfully carrying a restricted weapon, leaving a firearm loaded, unlawful possession of a restricted weapon and assaulting police.

The 34-year-old man was charged with misuse of drugs, obstructing police and receiving stolen property.

Enquiries into tracing the eight firearms and other miscellaneous property taken in the earlier burglary were continuing, Mr Ross said.

All owners of valuable property were encouraged to enter their serial numbers on databases such as the Operation SNAP website.

- APNZ

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