Phone rebel stung $500 for air text

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An Air New Zealand passenger was stung $500 after refusing to stop texting on the descent into Queenstown.

The 31-year-old Alexandra man was issued an infringement notice by police after they were called to the aircraft by the captain.

The captain had radioed ahead after being alerted to the man’s behaviour by cabin crew on the flight from Wellington, which landed at 6pm on Sunday.

Constable Jason Reid says: “It was noticed by one of the cabin crew that he was using his phone.

“He’d been told to turn it off.

“I went out and met the aircraft and brought him back to the office. He admitted he’d received a text message and then sent one in response.”

Reid says police follow the advice of the captain on whether to issue an infringement notice or charge a passenger with an offence for such matters.

“Different story if it’s someone playing up, drunk or abusive or some such,” Reid says.

“This passenger was very sorry for what he had done.”

Restaurant runners

A large Australian party refused to pay at a Queenstown restaurant after the man who’d pooled their money did a runner.

Police were called to a waterfront restaurant at 9.30pm on Monday.

The eight adults and three teenagers had run up a bill of almost $300 and then left without paying after the man ran off, claiming it wasn’t their problem.

Police enquiries are continuing.

Taxi troubles 

An Australian guy who punched a taxi driver was dealt with by way of a diversion and left New Zealand on Saturday.

A 72-year-old Queenstown taxi driver was spoken to by police in relation to an assault on a passenger in August. Officers contacted the driver at 5pm on Friday.

“It relates to an historic complaint,” senior constable Chris Blackford says, “about an alleged assault on August 28.

“The taxi driver has been summoned to court.”

Another taxi driver needed police’s help with a fare that was so drunk he fell asleep in the back seat and couldn’t be woken.

The driver brought the 25-year-old Australian man to Queenstown Police Station at 2.25am on Saturday.

“The Australian was arrested for detoxification for his own safety and kept in the cells overnight,” Blackford says.

Drunks and disorderly
A 21-year-old Queenstown woman was arrested for detoxification after knocking on doors in the early hours of Monday morning.

Police were called to Panorama Terrace at 6am that day by concerned residents.

“It appears she was lost and confused due to her level of intoxication,” Blackford says.

“She’s described as being covered in mud. She was arrested for detox for her own safety and released when sobered up.”

Officers charged an Invercargill 23-year-old man with disorderly behaviour after he was allegedly having a scuffle with his brother-in-law on Gorge Road, at 1.15am on Sunday.

“It’s allegedly got out of hand and required police to intervene,” Blackford says.

And police arrested an English man, 23, and a German man, 26, who were allegedly fighting over a woman at 2am on Wednesday on The Mall.

Both have been charged with fighting in a public place.