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Pair arrested following fleeing driver incident, Whangārei

Two people are due to face the Court following a fleeing driver incident in Whangārei overnight.

Whangārei Area Commander, Inspector Maria Nordstrom, says at around 10.30pm on Wednesday, Police identified a vehicle of interest at a petrol station in Raumanga.

“It was soon established the vehicle was registered to a person of interest who was required to arrest for a probation matter.

“The Police unit called for assistance, however as Police approached and signalled for the vehicle to remain stationary, the vehicle of interest has left the area at speed.

“The vehicle narrowly missed one of our staff members who was on foot at the time.”

A pursuit was authorised and Police followed the vehicle as it travelled on State Highway 1 at speed and continued to attempt to evade Police by driving on the wrong side of the road as it drove west on Loop Road towards Otaika Valley Road.

Inspector Nordstrom says it was at this point the vehicle has braked heavily and reversed.

“The vehicle intentionally collided with a Police vehicle before continuing to travel west, through Maungatapere onto Mangakahia Road to Titoki.

“While on Tokiri Road, the driver once again braked suddenly and rammed a following Police vehicle, which has caused extensive damage.”

Additional Police vehicles continued to pursue the vehicle, however it has turned around and driven directly at a Police vehicle.

“Our Police vehicle, seeing what the driver was going to do, has attempted to move out of the line of the vehicle,” says Inspector Nordstrom.

“The vehicle collided with the side of the Police unit.

“The vehicle has then come to a stop and the occupants have attempted to flee the area on foot.”

With the assistance of Delta, the Police dog unit, four people were taken into custody without further incident.

Inspector Nordstrom says this says this was a positive outcome to a very risky situation.

“Those involved showed total disregard for the safety of the public and our staff with no sign of willingness to deescalate the situation.

“It is incredibly lucky none of our officers or those involved were seriously harmed during the incident, however we are providing support to one member who received a minor injury.”

The 31-year-old male driver is now facing multiple charges relating to failing to stop, assault, and resisting Police.

He is due to appear in the Whangārei District Court today.

A 29-year-old female has also be charged with driving in a dangerous manner and failing to stop, and will appear in Court in due course.

Two other passengers who were taken into custody have since been released without charge.

As this matter is now before the Court, Police are limited in further comment.

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Source:NZ Police

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