Lone officer arrests violent man
Constable praised for handling of struggle in Ranfurly
Officer draws Taser when approached
Police are praising the actions of a Central Otago constable who brought down a violent 21-year-old man in Ranfurly.
Acting response manager Sergeant Simon Paget said the sole constable was called to a rural property on the outskirts of Ranfurly about 10am on Sunday after receiving reports of a man allegedly smashing up the property.
Two men and a woman were at the property.
‘‘Upon arrival at the scene, the sole attending officer was met by an aggressive and uncooperative man who fled back into the address when the officer attempted to arrest him.’’
The officer was told the man had discharged a firearm and, consequently, withdrew from the scene awaiting further police backup, Paget said.
However, he was then approached by a man who advanced on him and threatened him with a steel bar. The officer drew his Taser and the man dropped the bar and complied with instructions.
However, when the officer moved to handcuff the man, he resisted violently.
After a protracted struggle, the officer was able to bring the offender under control and arrest him.
‘‘Full credit goes to the constable, who, when faced with a dangerous situation and a motivated offender, selected the appropriate tactical option and effected the arrest without injury to either party.’’
The man was charged with wilful damage, discharging a firearm near a dwelling, unlawfully possessing a firearm, assaulting police with a weapon, resisting arrest and escaping custody.
Otago rural area commander Inspector Andrew Burns said Ranfurly had been a sole-charge station since the 1990s.
‘‘Staff in these areas have tactical options training that they use when confronted with situations like this to ensure the safety of all involved. In this incident, the officer followed the correct response procedure, including a risk assessment."
The closest police officer was based at Omakau, but there were several avenues of assistance, including highway patrol staff, rural drink-drive staff, the wider Central Otago policing team and a constable at Middlemarch, he said.
‘‘In communities such as Ranfurly, police also have close relationships with other local emergency services personnel, who are available to assist on the rare occasion that this is required.’’
Backup officers from Alexandra were sent to the Ranfurly incident, he said.
Wanaka man released without penalty
A 72-year-old Wanaka man found unfit to stand trial after being accused of attacking a police officer will face no further penalty.
Peter John Barratt was charged with assaulting a police officer with intent to obstruct, threatening to kill a senior constable and his daughters, threatening to kill a constable, resisting a constable and driving with a breath-alcohol level of 751 micrograms after an incident in Makarora on April 10. Barratt appeared in the Queenstown District Court on Monday where Judge Christina Cook ordered his immediate release without further penalty. Barrett had been admitted to Wakari Hospital in Dunedin on bail where a psychologist and psychiatrist found he had amental impairment.
Grocery scammers remanded
Two former Night ‘n Day staff in Queenstown who stole from their employer by helping each other scam grocery item sales have been remanded until August for sentence.
Ann Lorraine Samson Melenciano, 34, and Jacqueline Borromeo Medrano, 47, jointly charged with theft while in a special relationship between March 1 and June 17, were convicted by Judge Cook in the Queenstown District court on Monday.
It was discovered on CCTV that while the pair were serving each other they were covering the bar code of items with their hands and then pretending to charge each other through eftpos.
Medrano’s lawyer Sonia Vidal said her client was ‘‘extremely remorseful’’ of her actions but had felt pressured into the scheme by Melenciano, who was her superior.
‘‘Ms Medrano felt pressured to go along with the scheme . . . She knew it was wrong. She felt she had too,’’ Vidal said.
The was an ‘‘extremely high’’ chance she was going to lose her work permit and be deported as a result of the offending.
Vidal said Medrano often stole out-dated stock from a bargain bin while her co-offender was stealing tobacco.
The judge ordered reparation reports for sentencing on August 18.
Karl Antony Rich Gebbie, 28, manager, was fined $650, sentenced to 150 hours’ community work and disqualified from driving for 15 months for dangerous driving, assaulting a police officer, refusing to accompany police, failing to remain stopped and recording a breath alcohol level of 581mcg, limit 400, on June 26 and recording 603mcg on June 7. On the June 26 incident Gebbie was pulled over by police and found to be over limit. When a police officer tried to remove the keys from the ignition of the car Gebbie was driving, he grabbed her arm before putting the car in neutral and allowing it to roll down a hill. The officer was forced to withdraw her arm from the car. Gebbie then started the car again and sped off. He was found a short time later at his home address and was arrested.