15 Apr 2024

Teen charged after police officer injured in driving incident

5:16 pm on 15 April 2024
Police in Wellington. Generic image

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

A Rotorua teenager charged over a fleeing driving incident that left a police officer with facial injuries has appeared in the Hamilton District Court.

Police alleged 18-year-old Boycie Hapeta tried to drive away after he was stopped by police on Norton Rd in Hamilton on Saturday night.

Police say the officer jumped into the car to avoid being pinned and allege Hapeta drove at speed and punched the officer in the face, knocking out several teeth.

They say the officer, whose name is suppressed, pepper sprayed the teenager and the pair wrestled over his taser.

Hapeta has been charged with injuring with intent to injure, dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving without a licence, and driving with excess breath alcohol.

Hapeta was bailed to live in Rotorua and must reappear in court in May.

Waikato District Commander Superintendent Bruce Bird said the officer was recovering at home and was grateful for the support and messages from colleagues and members of the community.

Police expressed their thanks to members of the public who came to the officer's aid.