A man allegedly held a gun to a woman and made her drive him to an ATM in an attempt to rob her.

Sergeant Eden Sewell said a 34-year-old man demanded the woman drive him around Hastings for more than an hour on Sunday.

It is alleged he approached her car about 2pm and pulled out a firearm. She did not know the man.

It was not until she pulled over to an ATM on Tomoana Rd that she was able to make her escape, Mr Sewell said.


Roger Wright was working in The Elbowroom Sports Bar when the woman sprinted through the door and hid behind the counter where he was pouring drinks.

"She ran in and looked terrified and told me to call police. I went straight to the phone and luckily within a flash police turned up."

A man who was enjoying a beer at the bar said he had not seen anything like it.

"At first I thought she was a barmaid who was late for work but then I realised there was more going on. You could tell she was traumatised but she managed to hold herself together pretty well."

The witness told Hawke's Bay Today she had been visiting her boyfriend at Royston Hospital before the man approached her.

"She said the man had asked her for a ride in to town and it was not until he was in the car that he pulled the gun on her," he claimed.

"When she got here she wasn't sure if the gun was real or a toy one," the witness said.

While the bar staff were comforting the woman and notifying police, the man fled from the ATM in the woman's car, as he was unable to get any money from her.

Police found the car on Ormond Rd in Hastings but, as they attempted to pull the man over, he fled at high speed.

Mr Sewell said he continued to drive through areas of Hastings for about 30 minutes before the car was stopped outside an address in Flaxmere.

Another witness told Hawke's Bay Today the man had crashed the car into a tree on a property.

The Armed Offenders Squad were called out and once police recovered the stolen car a firearm was found inside.

Mr Wright said he got a big surprise when he saw police walk through his bar door with firearms as he had not experienced anything like that before.

"I was so impressed with how quickly they turned up and comforted the woman but I did get a bit of a shock."

The man was arrested and will appear in the Hastings District Court on Tuesday facing several charges.

On-going support is being provided to the woman.