A Kawhia policeman was set upon by up to five people as he
attempted to arrest a man for an outstanding warrant.
The attackers knocked the lone policeman to the ground,
kicking him as well as taking his taser and radio and
dislodging his sidearm.
Inspector Rob Lindsay said that last night's attack was the
fifth against members of Waikato police over the holiday
"Exactly what has occurred is still being worked through with
the priority for the inquiry team being the welfare and
safety of our colleague and his family while we seek to
identify his attackers.
"Initial indications are that at about 6pm the sole-charge
Kawhia officer saw a 19-year-old man who was wanted on
warrants to arrest."
"Cambridge staff at that time were at Ngahinapouri and were
dispatched to go to the officer's assistance; unfortunatel,y
even with the best driver's skills it is still some distance
"Our staff member has spoken to the 19-year-old and gone to
arrest him however a standoff has developed."
Mr Lindsay said the man's father was called to the scene, but
instead of helping de-escalate the situation, his arrival
made matters worse.
The offender was sprayed with pepper spray which had limited
effect. When the officer presented his taser, the offender's
father grabbed it, though the officer did manage to deploy it
at the main offender.
As the officer attempted to handcuff the main offender he was
struck from behind and knocked to the ground.
"From there the officer has been kicked on the ground by a
group of what we estimate to be five people and he has
crawled into a ball and activated his Officer Safety Alarm."
With reinforcements still some distance away both the officer
and Mr Lindsay said the OSA device really came into its own,
helping prevent potentially more serious injuries.
"Aware of his isolation North Comms have called out the local
Kawhia Volunteer Fire Brigade who arrived at the wharf to see
the officer still on the ground being attacked. These
firefighters and yet to be identified members of the public
have then gone to the officer's aid,"
Mr Lindsay said that such was the ferocity of the attack that
at one stage the officer's taser was taken and thrown into
the water while his sidearm was dislodged and his radio
"Fortunately for all concerned a member of the public
recovered the officer's pistol and took it to the
firefighters who secured the weapon.
"A short time later Police reinforcements arrived from across
the District and the 19-year-old man, his 49-year-old father
and a 21-year-old male associate were arrested without
The trio appeared in the Hamilton District Court today on
aggravated assault and assault with intent to injure charges.
The injured officer was examined at the scene by ambulance
staff and a local doctor and will undergo further medical
examinations and police interviews today.
"He has suffered serious bruising and grazing to his face,
arms and body and is currently recovering with his family.
"The officer has asked me to acknowledge on his behalf the
bravery shown by the firefighters and members of the public
whose direct action prevented what could have been a far more
serious outcome. It is these people who are the true spirit
of the Kawhia community."
Mr Lindsay said he had been in contact with the Police
National Executive who expressed their concerns in relation
to the attack and best wishes for the officer's speedy
"Here we have a uniformed member of a small community trying
to protect that same community. With this being the fifth
attack on officers as they try and assist people in need the
message needs to be clear that such attacks on our staff will
not be tolerated."
Mr Lindsay said it was up to the wider Kawhia community to
work with Police to identify the remaining unidentified
attackers and anyone with information on their identity or,
who may have captured still video images on the attack, to
contact Police on 07 858 6200.
Alternatively, information can be left with Crimestoppers on