‘Drink-driver’ in alleged attack on cop


A Wanaka police officer is recovering from injuries to his head, eye and ribs after an alleged attack by a drink-driver.

Senior sergeant Allan Grindell, in a statement tonight, says a Wanaka constable was responding to a report of a drunk driver heading towards the lakeside town from Haast at about 2pm today. 

After locating the vehicle at 3pm at Makarora, the constable got the driver to pull over and carried out a breath test, which he failed.

The constable was driving the man back to Wanaka Police Station when it’s alleged an assault occurred.

Senior sergeant Grindell says the officer called for help and a member of the public stepped in until emergency services including police, fire and St John Ambulance arrived.

The man is likely to face charges in relation to drink driving and assaulting a police officer.

“The police officer has suffered minor injuries to his head, eye and ribs in the incident and received medical attention at the local medical centre,” Grindell says.

“Fortunately these kinds of incidents are not commonly experienced by local officers however, the incident highlights the unpredictability and difficulties of managing people who have consumed significant quantities of alcohol.”

Police wanted to acknowledge the assistance from other Emergency Services and the member of the public.