Close call for two King Country Police officers

Monday 7 December 2009, 8:59AM
By New Zealand Police


Two King Country Police officers narrowly escaped injury after a car, running on only three tyres was driven deliberately at their patrol car in Te Kuiti early yesterday morning.

Te Kuiti Sub-Area Manager, Senior Sergeant Rob Van Kalken of the said the two officers were carrying out a check point in Te Kuiti looking for intoxicated drivers about 2.30am.

"The pair, a Te Kuiti and an Otorohanga officer, noticed a car leaving the Te Kuiti Hotel with six people aboard.

"The officers attempted to pull the car over but the driver accelerated away from them and a pursuit began. Because of the reckless nature of the offending driver the pursuit was abandoned."

Mr Van Kalken said an example of just how reckless the driving was is that the car continued to speed away, swerving across the road despite losing a front tyre.

"Our officers then began an area canvass trying to locate the car again, stopped at an intersection they saw sparks flying and the car heading towards them.

"The two cars have collided with the patrol car struck over the rear wheel arch, airbags in the patrol car activated and the two officers were able to get out of the car, shaken but unhurt."

Mr Van Kalken said reinforcements from Te Awamutu and off duty Te Kuiti staff rushed to the scene as the two officers tried to apprehend the six occupants of the car.

"Pepper spray was used to affect the arrests and the driver, who blew 1024mgs, faces charges of dangerous and reckless driving, failing to stop and driving with excess breath alcohol.

"He told arresting staff he had tried to flee owing to a previous drink driving conviction. Further charges in relation to the other occupants of the car are likely and we'll be speaking to local licensees in relation to serving intoxicate patrons," he said."