A Coromandel police officer has been injured, when his patrol car was repeatedly rammed by a fleeing wanted man.
The constable’s wrist was snapped in the steering wheel, and will undergo surgery at Waikato Hospital after suffering the bad break while on the job at Te Puru, north of Thames, on Sunday afternoon.
“This is a seasoned officer who does some fantastic work around here, you have to feel for his family who’ll be wondering if he going to come home safe,” says Eastern Waikato police’s response manager, Senior Sergeant Aaron Fraser.
“It’s the last thing we want to happen to any of our staff and it’s a sad day when someone is prepared to seriously hurt an officer because they’re not man enough to stand up and face what they’ve done.”
Aaron says the officer was one of two constables responding to the reports of a wanted man in the Te Puru area on Sunday.
Police received information about the possible location of the 32-year-old Thames man who is currently wanted by police on multiple warrants to arrest.
Two officers went to investigate the lead and spotted the man parked in the stolen car along Te Puru Creek Road.
They stopped the patrol car about five metres away from the stolen vehicle.
“The male in the stolen car has then rammed the police car a couple of times before driving off,” says Aaron.
“Unfortunately one of the officers who was in the driver’s seat, his hand got stuck in the steering wheel and when the car was rammed violently, it’s broken his wrist.”
A short time later the stolen car was found dumped on the Thames side of the Kopu-Hikuai Road but there was no sign of the wanted man.
Police are now actively trying to find him.
“He’ll be facing several serious charges,” says Aaron.
The man is believed to be a 32-year-old Thame local who also has strong links to Hamilton, Whitianga and Thames-Coromandel areas.
He is described as being 172cm tall and of medium build.
The injured offer was due to undergo surgery to the badly broken wrist on Monday morning and would remain off work until he recovered, says Aaron.
“This is the last thing you want when police are trying to protect the communities and you get a result like that,”
If anyone has information about this man, or saw anything in the area of Kopu Hikuao Road on Sunday they can call Thames police on 07 867 9600.
Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.