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Several members of the public watched as the boy struggled to free himself from police and appeared to challenge them to a fight before being taken down.
An Otago Daily Times reporter at the scene said the man could be seen shoving and shouting at two officers as they tried to restrain him at the intersection of lower Stuart and Cumberland Sts about 8.30am.
He lost his shoes in the fracas as he shoved one officer and leapt into the street, squaring off as if to fight the officers.
He was tasered in front of several members of the public, including a bus driver who left the vehicle to offer assistance.
As the man was being detained, another member of the public brought one of the officers his handcuffs, which had apparently been dropped during the incident.
The witness, who did not give his name, said he had seen the incident from the beginning when the man who was arrested ‘‘full on smacked’’ a female arresting officer in the head.
A police spokeswoman confirmed police located a young person who was wanted for arrest about 8.20am yesterday, at the intersection of Cumberland and lower Stuart Sts.
The young person resisted arrested and a Taser was deployed.
No-one was injured in the incident.
A 17-year-old appeared in the Dunedin Youth Court yesterday charged with escaping custody and resisting arrest, the spokeswoman said. — Additional reporting Molly Houseman