A man accused of assaulting a Queenstown traffic warden has turned himself in after his photo was recovered from the bottom of Lake Wakatipu.
The warden photographed the alleged thug with the camera on his ticketing device after being threatened on Rees Street at about 2.15pm on October 3.
The man then grabbed the device and threw it in the lake. It was recovered by a member of Queenstown Diving Club a week later, dried out and the photo was retrieved from the memory card.
Warden Steve, who does not want his surname published, says: “He said ‘One dark night when you least expect it I’m going to really enjoy punching you in the face’.
“That’s not very nice so as I was walking past I took that picture. He came towards me and as I put my hand up to defend myself he took the machine and threw it in the lake.
“I believe I might have ticketed his car in the past. I was quite surprised they could get the photo out.”
The machine, worth $3000, is issued to parking compliance officers so they can photograph registrations.
“Most people are okay about tickets because I usually only issue them when they’re either an hour late or parked in a bus stop or loading bay, but you get the odd one,” Steve, a warden for seven years, says.
Sergeant Mark Gill says the man turned himself in at the station yesterday afternoon.
The 27-year-old is expected to appear in Queenstown District Court this coming Monday.
“He’s fully admitted to his offending,” Gill says.
Sergeant Steve Watt adds: “It was great work to recover the photo.”
Tourists scared from hotel
A French couple fled from a Glenorchy hotel in the middle of the night and drove to Queenstown after a drunken woman knocked on their door.
The jittery tourists turned up at Queenstown Police Station at 3am yesterday after their ill-fated stay at the Glenorchy Hotel and Backpackers – which is said to be haunted.
Watt says: “The drunken woman had knocked on their door and tried to get into their room.
“They told her to go away but were too scared to stay there so they drove to Queenstown.”
Officers did not attend the scene.
Jetboat rescue called off
Thunder Jet co-owner Neville Kelly and deputy harbourmaster Dave Black rushed to save a fellow jetboater in distress after a call to police.
The 16-year-old jetboat driver had called his mum in a panic on Tuesday afternoon after his engine failed on the Shotover River.
“She rang police and we alerted Dave Black,” Watt says. “Neville Kelly went to help – he’s absolutely brilliant about things like this and will drop everything immediately.
“But by the time they got there, the 16-year-old had managed to get the engine started and made it to the shore with his adult passengers.”
That’s just smashing
An Aucklander, 28, was charged with wilful damage after smashing a glass door on Shotover Street.
Senior constable Chris Blackford says: “He was refused entry to a bar due to his level of intoxication. He walked down the street and allegedly kicked the glass door.”
The man is due to appear in court on Monday.