Disabled man allegedly drives car into marae buildings

Police located and arrested the man a short time after the incident. Photo / File
Police located and arrested the man a short time after the incident. Photo / File

A disabled Gisborne man has been arrested after allegedly deliberately driving into a marae, causing several thousand dollars worth of damage, before attacking a passer by's car and threatening to set himself alight at a petrol station.

Police allege the 45-year-old drove his small SUV vehicle into the Rangiwaho Marae on State Highway 2, about 30km south of Gisborne, at about 1pm.

Gisborne Police senior sergeant Lincoln Sycamore said the man drove through the marae door and smashed into the walls of the wharenui several times, causing thousands of dollars of damage.

"He also allegedly damaged a nearby house and shed after he threw bricks through several windows."

At some point, the vehicle became stuck in a ditch and the man, who uses a wheelchair for mobility, made his way on to State Highway 2.

When a concerned motorist stopped to give the man assistance, he smashed a wing mirror from the person's car and was left behind when the vehicle drove off again.

Soon after, the man was given a ride to Gisborne by another person.

Some time later, he entered a service station and left without paying for a pack of cigarettes.

"When confronted by the station attendant, the man grabbed a petrol bowser and threatened to set himself alight," Mr Sycamore said.

"He was located a short time later and arrested."

The man, who received medical assistance by a mental health crisis team, now faces a raft of charges including criminal damage, intentional damage, threatening behaviour and refusing to provide a blood sample.

He is due to appear in Gisborne District Court on January 11.

- NZ Herald

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