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Police seek witnesses to Christmas attack on Huntly officers

Police seek witnesses to Christmas attack on Huntly officers

After the third assault of officers in the Waikato over the past four days, a senior commander says offenders need to be aware that Police will not tolerate such attacks and those caught will face the full brunt of the law.

In the latest incident, Western Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Paul Carpenter, said two Huntly Police officers following up a by racer complaint from the public, spoke to five youths in a car identified as being involved.

"A 17-year-old male who is believed to have been driving the car fled the scene on foot but was identified and located outside a James Henry St address about 10pm.

"That address and the one behind had separate parties going on with several intoxicated people inside and outside the properties. As our officers were arresting the 17-year-old he began to actively resist the officers and a crowd from both parties converged on the patrol car."

Mr Carpenter said as one officer tried to calm the crowd down the second officer got the offender under control and placed him in the back of the patrol car.

"About this time a large male has run at one of the officers and king hit him from behind, knocking the officer to the ground as the crowd surrounded the patrol car.

"The uninjured officer activated his Officer Safety Alarm while his dazed colleague managed to get into the patrol car and the officers retreated from the advancing mob. While this was going on the Northern Communications Centre, alerted by the alarm, started dispatching reinforcements."

With the arrival of a Police dog and officers from Hamilton both party addresses were cleared while the injured officer was taken to a medical centre and treated for grazing and a cut above one eye.

"This type of behaviour is not only cowardly, it is totally unacceptable," said Mr Carpenter.

"Here we have two Police officers working Christmas Day helping to keep the public safe, responding to a 111 call from the public who are then set upon by a large intoxicated mob."

Mr Carpenter said Police believe they know the identity of the Constable's attacker and follow up enquiries are underway with further arrests likely.

"It is interesting to note that last night's attack, the domestic incident on Friday night where an officer had her ankle broken and the weekend attack of an officer by a mother and son in Matamata all had a common factor- that is each of the incidents involved families who had been drinking.

"At this time of year, with people off work and living on top of one another often the easy thing to do is to start drinking. Police don't want to prevent people having a good time but as these three incidents show- over indulgence can have very serious consequences."

Mr Carpenter said anyone involved in attacks on Police staff can expect a swift response.

"Emergency service staff are the ones that race towards an emergency or cry for help when others race away, for that reason we must and we will, make every effort to ensure our staff are safe and their attackers are held responsible in the courts."

The injured officer was treated for facial injuries at a medical centre and is now recuperating at home.

Anyone who witnessed the attack, knows the identity of the attacker or his whereabouts is asked to contact Huntly Police on 07 828 7560. Alternatively, information can be left with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.



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