A man accused of assaulting a senior police officer after being pulled over in South Auckland has been bailed.
David Hili, 45, appeared in Manukau District Court this morning charged with the aggravated assault of Inspector Kerry Watson, driving while disqualified, escaping custody, threatening behaviour and refusing a blood sample.
It is alleged the Metro Auckland shift commander was repeatedly punched in the face and head after he stopped a vehicle being driven with no headlights in Mangere on Sunday.
Police did not oppose bail and a curfew for Hili, somewhat to the shock of Judge Sharon McAusland.
"I'm surprised he's on bail but there we are," she said.
Hili's festive cheer will be restricted though - his conditions prevent him from drinking, driving or committing violence while on bail.
A police spokeswoman said Inspector Watson was patrolling the suburb late at night when he saw the car.
"He used lights and sirens in an attempt to pull the vehicle over," she said. "When the vehicle stopped less than 100m away, Inspector Watson was allegedly threatened and attacked by the driver who was the only person in the vehicle."
A police dog unit was called to the scene to help him arrest the man.
Inspector Watson was treated by medical staff and is recovering at home, where he and his family were being supported by police.
He did not wish to speak about the ordeal.
It was not the first time he had been injured while on duty.
In 2001, Inspector Watson and a colleague were attacked by up to 15 people outside a Dargaville pub when they were called to break up a fight. He was punched to the ground so hard that he partially lost consciousness, while his colleague was dragged down the street and kicked in the pelvis.