A valet driver has been accused of using a client's Mercedes-Benz to try to run down a pedestrian during an argument in an airport carpark.
The incident at Auckland Airport has shocked the car's owner, who only found out when he returned from holiday and received a call from police asking about the attempted hit-and-run incident.
Police investigated but said the Drop n Fly company owner was evasive and unhelpful and they could not identify the driver.
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Drop n Fly director Avhikash Singh rejected these claims - but said he didn't pay people who drove his customer's cars and didn't keep their contact details. Police said the driver, known only as Ravindra, took David O'Connell's car for a drive when it was supposed to be in storage on June 14 last year.
"Two people were walking through the carpark. The customer's car that was supposedly being stored was being driven through the carpark," Senior Constable Murray Fenton said.
"There's a bit of an altercation. The driver and the pedestrian had words with each other. Then the pedestrian started walking through the other part of the car park and basically the car did a U-turn ... and tried to run the victim over."
The man would have been "in hospital" if he hadn't moved just in time.
Mr Fenton said CCTV footage was of poor quality but the main reason Ravindra wasn't found was the lack of co-operation from Mr Singh.
"It was important for us to do as much as we could but we got to a point where we just couldn't take it any further ... and unfortunately [Mr Singh] was not forthcoming."
Sue Clarke, Mr O'Connell's partner, said the Drop n Fly boss told her customer cars were often moved to ensure batteries did not go flat - a claim she found ridiculous, given the couple were on holiday just 10 days.
She also found it unbelievable anybody would work for free, as Mr Singh claimed, and said the company director told her he paid his staff cash.
Mr Singh said yesterday he had no contact details for Ravindra.
He said he immediately told Ravindra to contact authorities after the incident.
"I said: 'Hey, what have you done, the cops are looking for you. Here's the cop's number. Get in touch with them, sort the problem out. Please, I'm a very small business."'
Mr Singh said he was led to believe Ravindra had contacted police, so it was "strange" this had not happened.
He said drivers like Ravindra weren't paid under the table - in fact, they weren't paid at all.
"Basically he's not my employee because I run the business myself," Mr Singh said. "I don't pay them."
Mr Singh said he did favours for many other people, and they helped him out in return.
He said he was transparent with customers about this.
"The majority of clients ... they know that I work alone and I've got helpers who help me on a casual basis."
Mr Singh said before letting "helpers" drive customer cars, he visually checked driver's licences but did not keep records. He said he'd consider more rigorous record-keeping now.
Click here for an earlier story about issue with Park n' Fly.