A driver accused of car-jacking a tourist's rental car while wielding a baseball bat and leading police on a one-hour pursuit before he was Tasered and bitten by a police dog has recovered from his injuries to appear in court today.
Michael Tyrone Harding-Reriti was granted bail after appearing at Christchurch District Court via audio visual link this afternoon.
He appeared on screen with visible injuries to his left leg, and with a set of crutches propped against a wall.
Police allege that Harding-Reriti, a 29-year-old from Leithfield in North Canterbury, was behind the crime spree on Saturday, December 30.
At about 4.20pm, police received reports of a man driving dangerously in the Waikari area on SH7 in Canterbury.
Inspector Hirone Waretini said several motorists called police about the manner of driving, which alleged overtaking on blind corners, passing on double-yellow lines, speeding and tailgating.
Police tracked down the vehicle and signalled for him to stop but he failed to do so.
Harding-Reriti is alleged to have driven on for another 26 minutes with police in pursuit, first along SH7 and then on to SH1. He was allegedly spiked near the Waipara township and the tyres deflated but he continued to drive for a further 8km south on SH1 before coming to a stop near Amberley.
"The driver got out of the vehicle with a baseball bat, threatened a parked motorist, a tourist to New Zealand, and stole his rental vehicle," Waretini said.
"The offending driver then drove the stolen rental vehicle away again from police."
The stolen car was later spiked in Tulls Rd, but even with flat tyres he continued to drive for a further 11km before finally coming to rest in Revells Rd, Tuahiwi.
"For a second time, the driver got out of the car brandishing the baseball bat and threatened the attending police staff," Waretini said.
After the one-hour pursuit, the driver was Tasered by police and finally subdued by a police dog, police say.
Harding-Reriti received medical treatment after being arrested.
The stolen rental vehicle sustained significant wheel rim damage, Waretini said, but added that "thankfully no members of the public or police staff were injured in this violent driving episode".
Harding-Reriti faces five charges, including; the alleged assault of a man with intent to avoid arrest and of aggravated robbery near Amberley, reckless driving, failing to stop for police, being armed with an offensive weapon, namely a baseball bat while robbing the tourist of a rental vehicle, and resisting a police constable in the execution of his duty.
Judge Brian Callaghan granted Harding-Reriti bail with conditions that he stay at a Leithfield residential address with a 7pm-7am curfew, to present at the door when police check on him, and not to drink alcohol or consume illegal drugs.
An application for interim name suppression by duty lawyer David Bunce was rejected by the judge.
Harding-Reriti was remanded on bail to reappear on January 23.