A dramatic police chase ended only when a stolen car flipped
as it rammed a patrol car in a bid to get away.
Friday afternoon's drama started with a petrol drive-off in
Kawakawa and ended with the arrest of a Whangarei man on a
raft of driving and drugs charges.
The vehicle, a silver Nissan Bluebird which had been stolen
then on-sold, was spotted on Puketona Rd but its driver
refused to stop.
Police pursued the vehicle up State Highway 10 to Kaeo, where
the pursuit was called off due to concerns about children
heading home from school.
A spokesman for Kerikeri police said the vehicle was last
seen heading up Martin Rd towards Matauri Bay. It was later
spotted near the Matauri Bay beachfront, sparking a second
pursuit around the coast.
Spikes were laid on Wainui Rd, but the driver did a U-turn
and headed up a metal driveway.
Finding it to be no-exit, he spun around, but found his path
blocked by a pursuing police car.
The offender then rammed the police car head-on in a bid to
escape, flipping his car on to its side then fleeing on foot.
Police caught him as he ran back towards Matauri Bay.
The senior officer driving the patrol car was unhurt, but the
vehicle was left immobile with a damaged front wheel.
The 22-year-old driver, from Whangarei but with links to
Matauri Bay, was charged with possessing methamphetamine,
possession of utensils for using methamphetamine, failing to
stop, reckless driving, aggravated assault, receiving stolen
property and theft.
He appeared in Kaikohe District Court on Saturday where he
was remanded in custody to March 18.
His passenger, also a 22-year-old man from Whangarei, did not
attempt to escape after the ramming. He has yet to be
The spokesman said speeds reached during the pursuits were
high, but within police guidelines.
- Peter de Graaf, Northern Advocate