Elderly couple ‘viciously’ assaulted
Gore lineman charged
Two couples including an elderly pair who suffered serious facial injuries were injured in a vicious highway assault, Queenstown police said. On Saturday, police in Queenstown charged a 32-yearold Gore lineman with assault with intent to injure after an incident on State Highway 6 at 8pm on Saturday. Sergeant Blair Duffy, of Queenstown, said the man was also charged with a second alleged assault on amiddle-aged couple 100 metres from the initial incident. The alleged assaults happened on a busy highway with slowmoving traffic as thousands of people left the Gibbston Summer Concert venue. Officers described the alleged assault on the elderly pair as vicious, he said. It appeared the couple, who were driving to Christchurch, expressed concerns because the intoxicated man was walking down the middle of State Highway 6. They had stopped, pulled over and were outside their car tightening the strops on a trailer when they spoke to the man, who apparently reacted violently. The elderly male victim, 71, and his partner suffered serious facial injuries and were taken to Lakes District Hospital. A middle-aged couple in their 50s also asked the man to get off the road 100 metres from the initial incident. The woman suffered bruising and a suspected fracture above an eye. The man is expected to appear in the Queenstown District Court.
A woman who rammed her car into her partner’s vehicle after an argument put her children’s safety at risk, police say. Central Otago police arrested a 29-year-old Alexandra woman after a domestic incident at Wedderburn in the Maniototo area on Friday about 2.45pm. Central Otago sub area supervisor Senior Sergeant Ian Kerrisk said the couple were in separate vehicles with their two pre-school aged children when they stopped and started arguing outside a hotel. The woman, who had her children in the car, allegedly rammed into the rear of the other vehicle before driving off. ‘‘While the driving was in itself an act with the potential for serious injury, it was aggravated by the fact that there were two preschool-aged children in one of the vehicles. ‘‘We are very lucky that everyone escaped without injury, but the children were certainly left shaken and upset.’’ The incident happened in front of several people, including overseas tourists who were also upset by the event, but Mr Kerrisk said they would receive calls from Victim Support. The woman was charged with disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence and more drivingrelated charges were likely to be laid, police said. Child Youth and Family were also notified of the incident and were working with other family members to ensure the children were safe.
Knife-wielding Cromwell man arrested
An 18-year-old Cromwell man was arrested on Friday night after an altercation at a hotel. Senior Sergeant Kerrisk said the teenager was charged with possession of an offensive weapon. There were no injuries to any other parties. In other incidents in Cromwell, a 27-year-old man was arrested on Saturday after a domestic incident. He was charged with assaulting a woman who suffered minor injuries, Mr Kerrisk said.
Albert Town robbery trial
Three young men charged with an alleged robbery in Albert Town will go to trial. The defendants, 17, 18 and 20, appeared before Judge Michael Turner in Youth Court in Queenstown jointly charged with robbing a tourist of $350 on January 9. Two defendants were remanded in custody and the third was remanded on bail. The 18-year-old faces five other charges: threatening to injure with intent to intimidate on December 31, offering to sell Class C ritalin between August 6 and December 12, offering to sell class B MDMA on September 5, offering to sell cannabis to persons over 18 on January 9, and resisting police on December 31. Judge Turner granted continuing interim name suppression for all defendants to protect the identity of a fourth defendant. Defendants were remanded to March 24 and April 8.
Chinese driver charged
A 26-year-old Chinese national will appear in the Alexandra District Court next month on careless driving charges after crashing head-on into an oncoming vehicle driven by a pregnant woman Sergeant Simon Paget of Cromwell, said the Chinese woman was driving on State Highway 8, on Cluden Hills, about 12.30pm on Thursday when she crossed the centre line, crashing into a woman who was four months pregnant who was driving to Wanaka. The woman was not injured but taken to Cromwell Medical Centre as a precaution, he said.