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A group of men ambushed and assaulted a lone female St John ambulance officer on her way to an emergency in Hamilton last night and demanded drugs.
The vehicle was waved down on Cameron Rd at 12.35am by a man apparently seeking help for another man lying on the ground next to him.
While helping the man on the ground, two other men joined the group, Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Patterson of Hamilton CIB said.
They manoeuvred the ambulance officer into the vehicle and demanded drugs.
While the ambulance was being searched for drugs, two of the men assaulted the driver, who managed to alert ambulance and police before escaping.
She was uninjured.
Mr Patterson said it was a sad day when an emergency service on the way to a call was tricked in such a way.
"These people have shown no respect for the service ambulance officers provide to our community. Today we will interview witnesses as we seek to identify those responsible."
A forensic examination of the ambulance was taking place today.
Mr Patterson wanted to hear from anyone who knew anything about the attack.
The four men left without any drugs, Mr Patterson said
"Ambulances don't carry the type of drugs they were after - controlled drugs."
A St John spokeswoman said the officer was "very distressed" and speaking with police today.
"St John takes very seriously the safety of its officers and has procedures in place to ensure their security and wellbeing.
"We are working with police and supporting our officer." the spokeswoman said.
Another vehicle was assigned to the original incident callout.
- Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ