A man who allegedly tried to set fire to a police station fled the scene only to be arrested a few hours later while taking a nap at a reserve.
Aaron Kyle McColl appeared in the Hamilton District Court yesterday to face a charge of attempted arson.
The 39-year-old from Tauwhare is alleged to have tried to set fire to the Cambridge police station using an accelerant on Monday night.
But the arson attempt was unsuccessful. A cabbage tree in front of the station copped the worst of the attack and the building itself suffering almost no damage.
McColl was remanded in custody and will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Senior Sergeant Pete van de Wetering, officer in charge of the Te Awamutu-Cambridge police sub-area, yesterday credited the quick actions of one of his staff for preventing the Cambridge station from being seriously damaged.
Mr van de Wetering said the officer was working in the station about 7.15pm when he was alerted to something amiss by the fire alarm.
"Going to investigate, he founda fire outside the station's entrancein the front foyer area and thelawn which he extinguished witha fire extinguisher.
"An accelerant appears to have been used in the lighting of the fire."
Mr van de Wetering said several people saw what happened and called 111, and the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Brigade attended.
Police staff were able to interview these witnesses, who gave a detailed description of a vehicle seen leaving the station.
Mr van de Wetering said McColl was found asleep in a Toyota people-mover vehicle at the Horahora Domain about 12km south of Cambridge at midnight on Monday.
McColl will reappear in court on May 8.