5 Mar 2021

Man drives off from Auckland checkpoint with police officer's arm still in car

1:30 pm on 5 March 2021

A police officer has avoided serious injury after a disqualified driver tried to flee a Covid-19 checkpoint north of Auckland yesterday.

Police check motorists going on motorway in Auckland the day before the Easter long weekend begins.

A police checkpoint in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The incident occurred at 7.15am on Thursday morning during a checkpoint stop at the intersection of Coal Hill Road and Mangawhai Road.

The police checkpoint is one of 10 spread out across Tāmaki Makaurau to ensure Aucklanders are complying with the Covid-19 Alert Level 3 restrictions imposed at the weekend.

Waitematā District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan says a vehicle pulled up to the checkpoint and the officer identified the man was a disqualified driver.

"The officer has noticed that the driver was about to flee so attempted to grab his car keys," Hassan said.

"The male has driven off with the officer's arm still in the vehicle. Fortunately the officer freed himself and avoided serious injury. He is understandably shaken and is being provided with support.

"A number of enquiries are already underway to locate the driver, who is known to police."

Meanwhile, police were conducting patrols in the Wesley area came across a vegetable stall set up on the roadside on Sandringham Road Extension just after midday on Wednesday, 3 March.

"This market place was not displaying a QR code, the stall operators were not wearing PPE and were not equipped to provide contactless service to customers," Hassan said.

"Staff engaged with the two men present to remind them of the current Alert Level 3 restrictions and have issued them with a warning."

Hassan said they are also aware of a video circulating online showing an interaction between two officers and a woman in Browns Bay who is reported to have cut tape off a playground to allow her children to play on it yesterday afternoon.

"Police will be following up with the woman and further action cannot be ruled out in relation to this incident."

Since 6am on Sunday until 6pm on Thursday evening, police processed 83,703 vehicles through the 10 checkpoints spread across North and South Auckland.

358 vehicles have been turned away at the northern checkpoints. 899 have been turned away at the southern checkpoints.

Between Sunday and Wednesday, police received 917 notifications to 105 of possible breaches of Covid-19 alert level 3 restrictions in Auckland.