Wanaka man (72) charged over cop attack

Peter John Barratt is driven away from the courthouse.
Peter John Barratt is driven away from the courthouse.
A 72-year-old Wanaka man faces charges of assaulting a police officer and threatening to kill two officers after a senior constable suffered head, eye and rib injuries in an incident yesterday.

Accused Peter John Barratt, sporting a huge black eye and what appeared to be a blood stain on the left shoulder of his shirt, was bailed to a Haast address when he made his first appearance in Quernstown District Court today at 11am.

Barratt is charged with assaulting senior constable Sean Hurley plus threatening to kill Hurley, his daughters and a fellow officer constable Reed.

Constable Hurley (52) was left bloodied and bruised after the incident yesterday afternoon.

Barratt has also been charged with drink-driving after allegedly recording a level of 751 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when pulled over yesterday. The legal limit is 400mcg.

Queenstown solicitor Sonia Vidal, representing Barratt, entered no plea and asked for a remand on bail. Justice of the Peace Joy McDonald released Barratt on bail until his next scheduled court appearance on April 28.

Bail conditions require him to live in Haast at a house he has on the same street as the local police station.

Barratt must report to the station daily between 8am and 4pm, not drive, not drink, not enter licensed premises and not enter Wanaka unless it's to travel to Queenstown District Court.

"I take a very dim view of what's happened," Miss McDonald told Barratt before outlining the bail conditions and asking him to surrender his passport.

"Consider yourself very lucky this morning."

Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin earlier told the court police were satisfied the bail conditions were appropriate "in terms of eliminating any issues as to further offending".

A police statement yesterday said Mr Hurley had stopped a motorist in Makarora for a routine breath test about 3pm after road workers reported a suspected drink driver heading towards Wanaka.

After failing the test, the motorist was asked to accompany senior constable Hurley to Wanaka - on the way, the motorist is alleged to have kicked the officer in the head and attempted to gouge his eye.

Wanaka sub-area commander senior sergeant Allan Grindell said senior constable Hurley stopped his car and restrained the man before continuing.

However, the man began "playing up" in the back seat again as the car approached the Makarora Country Café so senior constable Hurley pulled into the café forecourt, restrained him again and radioed for help.

- Ryan Keen, Mountain Scene