Police have arrested a 17-year-old after two firefighters suffered bloody noses while trying to break up a brawl at a crash at Waihi Beach.
Emergency services were called to the crash scene on the corner of Snell Cres and Didsbury Cres about 7pm on Saturday night.
However, they arrived to find a mob of drunken youths fighting each other, some who turned up after the crash trying to unleash their own form of vigilante justice, local fire chief Peter Harwood earlier told the Herald.
Two of his crew were left with bloodied noses after they tried to break up the brawl when two vehicles - a ute and a red car - crashed.
A police spokeswoman today confirmed a 17-year-old man had been charged with assault and will appear in court today.
Police are yet to confirm which court he will appear in.
The incident riled up Harwood who said it proved that they needed their local cops back in the town after they were moved Paeroa in a restructure of policing in the Waikato.
"They took our local police away from us and they sent them to Paeroa and that was a really sad day and a really short-sighted day and I think the police nationally need to look at putting constables back into our small town."
However, Waikato police Superintendent Bruce Bird refuted Harwood's claims and said the seaside town had police available 24-7.
Police prioritised attendance at events based on a number of factors, such as the seriousness of the individual circumstances, vulnerability of the people involved, potential for the incident to escalate, and so on, he said.
But a local woman, who did not want to be named for fear of retribution, was one of the first on the scene and said it was near dark before any police arrived, she estimates at least an hour after she first called 111.
She backed up Harwood's comments and said it was unacceptable that they took so long to arrive.
She said she could only stand back and watch firefighters arrive and then attempt to diffuse the situation before getting pelted with blows for their efforts.
"A lot of youngster arrived ... and all hell just broke loose. Just people laying into each other and the language, was totally unnecessary.
"The firies were trying to break it up and some of those guys are big guys, but the youngsters they were just literally going berserk."
She was on the phone to 111 and repeatedly asked for police as the brawl was getting bigger before her eyes.
"They took about an hour before they got here, at least, they took forever, but by the time they got here it was all over bar the shouting. They didn't come to break up the fight at all.
"It was just chaos."
The woman said she was pleased to hear an arrest had been made.