Meth addict steals police car, drives over spikes

By Imran Ali -
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Police had to spike their own car to stop a drug addict who assaulted an officer and drove away in a marked patrol car.

The drama began in Waipu on the evening of January 15, 2015, when police were called to Aqua View Rd after residents became suspicious of a man knocking on doors and saying he had been sent by God.

That man was Craig Ethan August, who last week was jailed for 15 months when he appeared for sentencing in the Whangarei District Court after earlier pleading guilty to a raft of charges.

The 24-year-old admitted charges of disorderly behaviour, assaulting police, escaping from custody, aggravated assault, attempted unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, failing to stop, dangerous driving, and theft.

Judge Murray Hunt said August, a methamphetamine addict, appeared delusional and initially refused to speak with officers or explain why he was on Aqua View Rd, but later said he did not know what he was doing on that road.

He also did not know where he had parked his car.

August was transported to central Waipu where he became agitated and demanded police drive him to Auckland, then became confrontational when officers refused.

He pushed, struck, and repeatedly punched one officer on the head while being arrested.

August ran off and jumped into a police car but could not start the engine. He then got into another police car and drove off.

Police pursued him through The Braigh road towards State Highway 1, back to Waipu town and on to Cove Rd.

August crossed the centre line on several occasions and showed pursuing officers the middle finger. On one occasion, as he approached the top of a hill, he stopped and reversed the stolen vehicle towards the pursuing patrol car. Officers were forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

He then turned and continued driving towards Waipu town.

Police laid road spikes at the intersection of McLean Rd and Waipu Cove Rd, as well as at the intersection of Johnson Point Rd and Waipu Cove Rd.

August drove over both sets of spikes but continued behind the wheel despite all four tyres being deflated.

Motorists were forced to take evasive action as he drifted in and out of the opposite lane.

August eventually stopped on Waipu Cove Rd.

The officer he assaulted required medical attention after he suffered concussion and bruising, while another officer took a day off work due to stress.

Judge Hunt granted August leave to apply for and to serve his sentence at Odyssey House in Auckland - a treatment centre for drug addicts - when a bed became available.

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