From river to court: escapee charged

Jesse Matthews watch the drama unfold on the bridge yesterday and snapped the man attempting to swim from police.

Click the image above to watch the video

The man who leapt into the Wairoa River to escape capture by police following a pursuit is facing a whole raft of charges.

The 34-year-old man is charged with two counts of failing to stop, two counts of recklessly operating a motor vehicle, plus driving while his licence was suspended, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and shoplifting.

The man leapt into the river after the BMW car he was driving caught fire on the bridge on Monday.

Traffic was already backed up because of the earlier pursuit and road spiking attempt, before the vehicle tyres were successfully spiked in Whakamarama Road, and at the intersection of Youngson road and Old Highway before being spiked near the bridge. 

Witnesses say the vehicle was on its wheel rims when it caught fire on the bridge, blocking traffic in both directions until the wreck could be removed.

After being fished from the river, the man was placed in police custody and charged.

He is due to appear in Tauranga District Court today.


This may not be a driving problem.

Posted on 14-03-2018 10:39 | By morepork

The charges reflect a desperate man who is at the end of his rope and who has obviously been on a bad path for some time. Shop lifting, stealing cars, cancelled licence, behaving as if he has nothing to lose (even possibly his life or the lives of others). Of course he has to be stopped and the Police have done a great job here, but I ask myself: why are so many of our young people making these really bad choices in their lives? Is it drugs? Is it the decline of family and exclusion from community? There are too many kids going "off the rails". Drug dealing, family violence, bullying in schools are all matters we need to address more seriously if this kind of incident is to be avoided.

Thank you

Posted on 13-03-2018 15:30 | By clingon

Thanks bro for disrupting hundreds of people’s day, costing the tax payer thousands of dollars, stealing someones car and putting them through a lot of inconvenience dealing with insurance companies and being a dick and forgetting your towel when going for a swim- i bet the cops left you in your wet clothes for ages: muppet...

Time for harsh penalties!

Posted on 13-03-2018 13:45 | By triplediamond

Now lets just see what the Court comes up with by way of penalty.....should be jail time as a deterrent for other lamebrain idiot drivers.Dont blame the road, its the drivers who cause the traffic problems on State Highway 2. This is an example of NZs driver problem.... wrong attitude!!

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