One of two badly injured police officers attacked with a metal pipe after a car chase in Huntly overnight is to be married in 10 days.
The officer suffered horrific facial injuries after he was smashed front-on with a metal vacuum cleaner pipe in a surprise roadside attack. He was released from Waikato Hospital today.
Waikato west area commander Inspector Naila Hassan today said the officer took the full force of the blows to his face. His nose and eye socket were broken and his eybrow and lip split.
Instead of wedding preparations his fiancee was at her partner's hospital bedside just 10 days from their nuptials.
"He's not great but he's in good spirits in hospital with his fiancee. He's getting married in 10 days so he's not looking the flashest," said Hassan.
Hassan said both officers were bashed around the head with the pipe. The other officer, who also needed medical treatment, suffered bad bruising around his neck and the back of his head.
The officers had tried to pull over the vehicle for speeding in Huntly but the driver did not stop.
They followed the fleeing driver for a "very short time" before the vehicle pulled over, about 2.15am.
"The male driver was immediately aggressive with the two officers and they had to use pepper spray and Taser to control him," said Hassan.
"While this was happening the male passenger has armed himself with a metal pipe and attacked the officers from behind."
The injured officers stayed with their vehicle and the arrested man while back-up arrived from Hamilton and Counties-Manukau.
Both officers were taken to Waikato Hospital.
Police this afternoon located the 23-year-old man they allege assaulted the officers.
He was located at approximately 12pm when Police searched a Huntly address. He will be appearing in Hamilton District Court tomorrow facing two charges of wounding with intent to causegrievous bodily harm.
The weapon used in the attack had also been recovered.
The 30-year-old driver of the vehicle was arrested and charged with assault and driving charges after the incident and was to be appearing in Hamilton District Court today.
This morning colleagues of the injured officers posted a warning on social media to the man it was only a matter of time before he was caught.
"Last night two of our colleagues were assaulted in Huntly. No doubt he is going to be gloating about his actions. Someone knows where he is, we know who he is; and we will find him," posted an officer on the Waikato District Police page.
"Police work tirelessly to keep our communities safe and acts of violence like this against our officers are unacceptable," Hassan said.
"Police take the safety of staff seriously so we are working closely with the officers involved in this attack and will continue to do so as further enquiries are made."
Police are continuing to make enquiries and are keen to hear from anyone who may have information which can help in their investigation.
"Huntly Police would like to thank the community for their assistance in this investigation and for the overwhelming support for our injured officers, it is really appreciated," Hassan said.
People can contact Huntly Police on (07) 828 7560 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.