Gun­man fi­nally ar­rested

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

A six hour stand­off be­tween po­lice and an armed man ended with­out in­jury.

A 29-year-old man was ar­rested fol­low­ing the stand­off and was to ap­pear at the Ro­torua District Court yes­ter­day where a raft of charges re­lat­ing to the in­ci­dent will be laid.

The armed man was wanted in re­la­tion to an ag­gra­vated rob­bery and had been on the run from po­lice for over two weeks.

The drama un­folded when po­lice and po­lice armed of­fend­ers squad closed down Grace Cres in Toko­roa at 3.30pm on Mon­day.

Toko­roa Se­nior Sergeant Graeme Hill said the armed man ig­nored po­lice re­quests to sur­ren­der.

‘‘When you’re deal­ing with an armed per­son you can’t take any risks,’’ Hill said.

Po­lice, fire and am­bu­lance ser­vices stayed at the scene un­til the man was ap­pre­hended about 10pm.

An­gela Thorn­ton, 81, who lives on the street, said the in­ci­dent came as a huge shock.

‘‘Then I heard all this yelling and an armed [of­fi­cer] knocked on my door and said stay in­side and lock your doors."

A cou­ple of ‘‘bangs’’ went off, she said. How­ever Hill said they were not gun shots.

Thorn­ton said she had never ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing like it in the 30 years she had lived on Grace Cres.

‘‘I just couldn’t be­lieve it, I could see them [armed of­fend­ers] creep­ing around . . . and then I turned my se­cu­rity lights off be­cause I didn’t want them go­ing off ev­ery time they walked past them.’’ Thorn­ton had a rest­less sleep. ‘‘They never came and told me it was all over. I didn’t think they had found any­one be­cause they were still shin­ing lights up in trees.’’

Mean­while an­other neigh­bour Mark Bid­dick, said he was shocked the street wasn’t evac­u­ated.

‘‘If they had a gun we were right in the fir­ing line.’’

He moved to the ad­dress about four months ago and said it had not been an easy week.

‘‘The other night there was a po­lice chase. The po­lice let the sirens rip at about 2am and fright­ened the be­je­sus out of all of us. This last week this street has been hard to live in.’’

Hill thanked the res­i­dents on Grace Cres.

‘‘ Their pa­tience and un­der­stand­ing was much ap­pre­ci­ated .’’

Stand off: Fire, am­bu­lance, po­lice and po­lice armed of­fend­ers squad con­verged on Grace Cres on Mon­day night for a six-hour stand off with an armed, wanted man.

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