mother of a teenage girl says her daughter was assaulted by
police, losing her two front teeth, despite co-operating as
officers in riot gear cleared a party in Howick.
Pictures of a bloodied Ella Ekatone, 15, have been posted on
Facebook by friends who were at an 18th birthday party in
Wellington St on Saturday.
The party got out of control, with reports of people passed
out in the streets, and when police arrived they were pelted
with dozens of bottles.
About 35 officers tried to disperse 150 party-goers and were
responding to a 111 call from the property where the party
was being held about a fight that had started in the backyard
when Ella was injured.
Ella's mother, Nicola Healey, last night said her daughter
had given a statement to police.
Ella had told her police jumped the fence just before
midnight and told about 20 teenagers to leave.
"One of them pushed her from behind with such force she
tripped. He pushed her again, he swore at her in her face,
she said nothing back to him, she just did what she was told.
"[The second push] slammed her face into the concrete and ...
the force he's used, her two front teeth have been ripped out
of her head, roots and all. I went back to the property and
ended up finding the teeth and couldn't believe they were
When Ms Healey saw her daughter that night at Middlemore
Hospital Ella was hysterical.
"The hospital have said they don't know if they can replace
her teeth until she's 21, so she'll have to have something
temporary in the meantime. She's got massive bruises and
grazes on her knees from the fall. She saw herself on TV and
she cried. It's like she's in shock."
It amounted to police brutality against children and Ms
Healey wanted the officer charged with assault. She was
disgusted Ella had been told to "f***** move."
Her daughter could not see the officer's face because he was
one of about 10 wearing riot gear with helmets covering their
But she'd told police he was on the left side of the line.
"The other nine people know who was on the lefthand end of
Counties Manukau Police District Commander Superintendent
John Tims said an inquiry was under way.
"Police were called to the address at around 11.15pm, we were
advised that there were individuals intoxicated and passed
out on grass verges."
Mr Tims said one police unit did a drive-by to assess the
"While doing this they observed around 150 people on
Wellington St and around 50 bottles were thrown at the police
Mr Tims said: "Police officers in the patrol vehicle then
called for back-up ... The officers moved in to the address
and tried to disperse the partygoers from the house and also
the surrounding areas. No one was arrested as a result of the
house being cleared of partygoers."
It's understood some arrests occurred nearby when a fight
broke out but it was unclear if those involved had been to
the party or not.
The complaint was now being investigated by the Independent
Police Conduct Authority, he said.
"We are speaking to witnesses and also all the police
officers that were present at the Wellington St event to
ascertain exactly what happened."