A potential disaster was narrowly avoided at a Hamilton
petrol station last night after an agitated man allegedly set
fire to a car and assaulted a man.
Hamilton Detective Sergeant Andrew Mortimore said emergency
services were called to the service station in Whitiora about
10pm after calls were received about a man armed with a knife
attacking a petrol bowser.
The man then allegedly used the fuel hose's metal nozzle to
damage a car parked on the forecourt.
"He has then used fuel from the pump to try and start a fire
on the forecourt before setting fire to the interior of
A potential disaster was averted by quick thinking of a staff
member at the station who was able to automatically stop the
flow of fuel to that pump from behind the locked doors of the
service station, Mr Mortimore said.
Police and firefighters were able to put out the fires.
"The man fled the scene of his attack and was apprehended a
short time later in the grounds of a nearby super market."
He has been referred for psychiatric assessment and any
charges would be determined afterwards, Mr Mortimore said.