A member of the public came to the aid of a police officer allegedly being attacked in central Orewa today - and police want to hear from him so they can thank him.
Inspector Mark Fergus said the officer approached a man who was drinking whisky from a bottle just before 1pm in central Orewa - where there is a liquor ban.
"When the officer discussed this with the man he began yelling obscenities. There were a number of families with young children in the area at the time, and though the man was warned about his behaviour, he continued to yell obscenities," Mr Fergus said.
He was told he was under arrest but allegedly resisted and ran away.
"The officer chased him but a struggle ensued and, as the officer tried to restrain him, one of the man's associates then joined in, punching the police officer repeatedly in the head.
"A member of the public who was driving past stopped his car and attempted to pull the alleged assailant off the police officer. Backup arrived and the assailant ran away."
Both men were arrested soon after.
The officer was treated for bumps and bruises to his head, elbows, knees and neck and would be off work for several days, Mr Fergus said.
"Our officers work really hard to make sure the community is safe and feels safe, and this sort of cowardly rubbish is totally unacceptable.
"What is heartening though is the fact that a member of the public stopped to lend a hand.
"We don't actually know who that person was at this stage and we'd really like to say thanks very much, so please get in touch if it was you."
Two men, aged 41 and 34, have been charged with assaulting a police officer, and the 34-year-old has also been charged with escaping custody.