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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 charged.
The spokesman said speeds reached during the pursuits were high, but within police guidelines.
- Peter de Graaf, Northern Advocate