14 Apr 2024

Police officer injured trying to stop fleeing driver

2:10 pm on 14 April 2024


An 18-year-old man has been arrested and an officer treated for injuries after police intercepted a car in Waikato overnight.

Waikato District Commander Superintendent Bruce Bird said police stopped a vehicle wanted for fleeing police in Rotorua just after 9.30pm on Norton Road.

While police were organising the vehicle to be towed, one of the occupants returned to the car.

An officer attempted to stop the car, then realised he was at risk of being run over or pinned as the car moved. He made the split-second decision to get in the vehicle, police said.

The car then hit a stationary patrol car before fleeing the scene.

Bird said the officer used "tactical options", including a Taser, in an attempt to get the driver to stop. The driver allegedly struck the officer multiple times on the head.

The car lost control and crashed on Lincoln Street a short distance away and the driver fled on foot.

After another pursuit involving a dog unit and police helicopter, the suspect was found up a tree.

The officer suffered moderate facial injuries, but has been discharged from Waikato Hospital.

"It's gravely concerning to see a police officer injured while carrying out their duties and incidents like this demonstrate the unpredictable and dangerous situations police face, often with little or no warning," Bird said.