Threats, indecent exposure in Lakes District 'rampage'

A Uruguayan man who went on a ‘‘rampage’’ in Wānaka after a job offer was withdrawn is lucky to get off with a fine, a judge says.

Ignacio Allo Crosta, 26, whose erratic and aggressive behaviour last month continued in two incidents in Queenstown, is scheduled to leave New Zealand for his home country tomorrow in the care of his parents.

At his sentencing in the Queenstown District Court yesterday, counsel Tanya Surrey said Allo Crosta’s offending was triggered by the unexpected withdrawal of a work offer and sponsorship.

The police summary of facts said he entered a Wānaka restaurant about 9pm on December 15 and yelled at the victim, who was sitting at a table with his partner.

In an attempt to incite a physical confrontation, he knocked the victim’s hat off his head, then exposed his penis to the couple.

He was arrested in his vehicle a short time later and taken to the Wānaka police station, where he refused to undergo an assessment for drug-impaired driving.

The defendant was aggressive and abusive, telling a constable ‘‘I drink your blood’’ and ‘‘I’ll smash your head in’’.

A search of his car uncovered 3g of cannabis and a grinder.

Allo Crosta’s belligerence continued at the Queenstown police station the next morning, where he urinated on the door of his cell and was ‘‘physically confrontational’’ with officers.

Finally, while in the resort town on Christmas Day, he was riding a bike along the footpath in Church St when he yelled at three people to get out of his way.

He confronted one of the victims, saying he would ‘‘kill you right here’’ if the police station was not so close by.

He then followed the trio into a convenience store, where, despite their efforts to de-escalate the situation, he continued to make threats, telling them ‘‘you three are dead already, because I’ll be looking for you’’.

He was charged with assault, disorderly behaviour, obscene exposure, refusing a compulsory impairment test, possessing cannabis, intentional damage and four charges of threatening language.

Ms Surrey said Allo Crosta did not have history of such behaviour in his home country, but had suffered mental health issues in New Zealand.

Judge Duncan Harvey said the defendant was a ‘‘very lucky young man’’ not to be receiving a harsher sentence, but it was desirable he undergo psychological treatment in his home country as soon as possible.

Although the victims had been on the receiving end of ‘‘appalling’’ behaviour, ordering the defendant to make reparation payments for emotional harm would only create unnecessary work for the police, who were keen to have the matter resolved and see the defendant leave the country.

He convicted the defendant and ordered him to pay $1500 to Victim Support Services in Queenstown, and to pay $63 for the cost of cleaning the police cell. 

 - Guy Williams, PIJF court reporter