Press Release – New Zealand Police
Waikato Police are investigating a crash of a vehicle driven by a fleeing driver and the attack on a Police officer and Police dog overnight.
District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Marcus Lynam, said the Holden VX Commodore Clubsport saloon first came to the Police’s attention after 10pm when a member of the public reported a car travelling at speed passing on double yellow lines near Cambridge.
“Responding Police came across the car on SH1 north of Cambridge and attempted to get the vehicle to stop however the driver has fled at high speed towards Hamilton and a pursuit, managed by the Northern Communications Centre, has been initiated.
“Because of the offenders’ car having reached speeds of 180km/h the pursuit was being reviewed when the car drove over road spikes deployed near the intersection of SH1 and Airport Rd.”
Mr Lynam said that in what, at this stage appears to have been an attempt at an evasive manoeuvre the offenders’ car has then slewed left but the driver has lost control and the car crashed broadside into a line of trees.
“Despite their injuries two men have then fled the car and a Police dog has tracked a 31-year-old year man through a number of properties to a trucking company’s yard. Locating this man in the cab in an immobilised truck two Police dog handlers and a dog tried to affect an arrest but after assaulting one officer the man has fled.
“The second dog handler has resumed the track with the Police dog which has been unleashed at a residential property and run out of sight after the offender. The dog handler has rounded a corner to find the offender choking the dog to the point of unconsciousness and fired a warning shot from his pistol.”
Mr Lynam said the shot was enough to distract the offender who released his grip on the dog. With the second handler arriving, the two officers have struggled with the heavily resisting man before the Police dog has come to and rejoined the fray.
“Officers involved described the man offering extreme resistance however he was able to be subdued.
“A short time later other officers saw a second male attempting to flee. With the assistance of members of the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad and the Auckland based Police Eagle Helicopter, this offender, a 34-year-old man, was arrested in bushes without further incident.”
Both men are currently under Police guard in Waikato Hospital.
“The crashed car remains at the scene this morning to allow for scene and forensic examinations to be carried out.
“The Police dog attacked in the incident will undergo a veterinarian examination later today.”
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has been advised of the crash.