Man Tasered for throwing punches at police

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Police tasered James Martin Rapana after he threw punches at police. Photo / Wayne Drought
Police tasered James Martin Rapana after he threw punches at police. Photo / Wayne Drought

Throwing drunken punches at police got James Martin Rapana nowhere - except on the ground, Tasered.

Rapana, 29, was part of a group of intoxicated people at a house on Karaka St on April 16, a police summary of facts said.

Police were called after reports of yelling and bottles smashing, just before midnight.

"As a police vehicle arrived at the address, associates of the defendant walked towards the vehicle and began kicking the vehicle and abusing the police officer present, telling him he should leave and wasn't welcome at the address," the summary said.

Police told the people they were under arrest, after which Rapana and more of his friends came out onto the front lawn.

Rapana and his friends moved around police, threatening them. Rapana told police to "f*** off".

"The defendant removed his top as though he was preparing for a fight with attending police staff."

Approximately 15 people were all behaving the same way.

"When police attempted to move forward into the address, the defendant stepped forward, swinging his closed fist at an officer."

Police used a Taser on Rapana.

When questioned about his actions, he said "How could I? I was on the ground."

Rapana appeared in the Whanganui District Court on Tuesday, where he pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour and assaulting police.

Defence lawyer Harete Hipango said her client "really copped the good end of it in terms of receiving a Taser, a good shake-up that night".

Judge Patrick Treston said he accepted it was a "confusing situation", and noted it was lucky Rapana didn't land any of his punches.

"Nevertheless, it's serious enough," he said.

He ordered Rapana to come up for sentence if called upon within 12 months.

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