A 40-year-old gang member pleaded guilty to biting and punching two police detectives, after holding up a Napier bank with a pistol and making off with nearly $2500.
Junior Tane Jury appeared in Napier District Court yesterday charged with aggravated robbery, three counts of assaulting police and one count of resisting police. All the charges were related to the armed raid of the Marewa Kiwibank, ensuing pursuits and violent arrest in Pirimai on April 4.
On the morning of the hold up, Jury masked himself with a black and white bandanna before strolling into the bank, approaching the counter, drawing a pistol and aiming it at a teller.
He also handed over a bag and said to the female employee: "put the money in".
The teller filled the bag with cash and Jury pointed the gun at another teller and said "you too", before he thanked the two staff members and walked out.
In a nearby street Jury met with his friend, swapping clothing and giving his associate the money bag containing $2486.40.
Following an extensive search, Armed Offenders Squad officers and police dog teams found and arrested a 22-year-old associate but Jury had seemingly vanished from the area.
However in what would later be a chance encounter, two detectives were conducting unrelated operations on Clark Ave about 9pm when they stumbled upon the mobster.
The two detectives were leaving a home when Jury also arrived at the house, when the 40-year-old saw the officers he fled into the street with police pursuing on foot.
Jury was run down and caught before immediately trying to fight his way to freedom by taking swings at the detectives. As the two officers attempted to handcuff him, one of the the 40-year-old's punches connected with a detective's head.
Fleeing for a second time, the officers once again caught the large man but this time doused him in pepper spray in an attempt to subdue him. However the spray had little effect and Jury continued his "violent struggle" before one of the detectives was able to restrain him, but was bitten on the wrist and upper arm, puncturing the skin.
The other officer tried to pull Jury's head away from his partner when the mobster took a bite out of him, this time on the hand.
One of the detectives spoke exclusively to Hawke's Bay Today following the ordeal and said both he and his colleague required hospital treatment after the attack.
"The officers and [Jury] immediately identified each other in the street ... there was a tussle and physical altercation even after the offender had been sprayed with our capsicum spray," he said two days after the robbery and assaults.
"He's quite a big built guy, it was a violent struggle and the officers had to be backed up by other units who were called from all across Napier before he could be formally arrested. It wasn't a quick resolution."
Jury was remanded in custody by Judge Jonathan Down yesterday and will appear for sentencing in June. The charge of aggravated robbery carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment, while the assaults on police could carry a three year jail term.