Police arrest stag after pub loo fire


A Middlemarch man on his stag do in Queenstown will have a visit to court before walking up the aisle. 

The 28-year-old farmer was celebrating his last days as a single man at the Pig and Whistle pub on Wednesday night when he allegedly set an item of clothing on fire and threw it on a table at 6.30pm. 

“Allegedly he then went into the women’s toilet, set fire to the toilet, locking the door and leaving it,” senior constable Chris Blackford says. 

“He was held there by some people at the bar and the fire service attended and they called for police assistance.” 

The man has been charged under the Crimes Act for intentionally damaging by fire property of the Pig and Whistle, knowing that danger to life was likely to ensue. 

He has been bailed to appear in Queenstown District Court on Monday. 

CCTV catching crims 

A 29-year-old Irishman was arrested on Wednesday night for an earlier assault on a bouncer, thanks to CCTV cameras. 

The visitor was spotted at 10.40pm and subsequently charged with assault with a weapon relating to a December 27 incident at the Boiler Room. 

Blackford says that night he’d been refused entry at 3am “so he threw a rope stand at the bouncer and punched the bouncer in the head”. 

Three men were arrested in relation to a theft at Night ‘n’ Day on Camp Street early yesterday morning. 

“Two men were at the counter attempting to buy cigarettes and the third person with them attempted to stuff his pocket with chocolates. 

“It was caught on CCTV camera,” Blackford says. 

Drunk in charge of traffic 

An 18-year-old Kiwi man was given a pre-charge warning after he decided to direct traffic for a laugh on New Year’s Day. 

The man, who was drunk, stood in the middle of the Church St-Marine Parade junction for about 10 minutes, stopping and directing traffic at 11.50am. 

Sergeant Blair Duffy says: “He probably thought he was helping.” 

Drink-driver blames cops 

A drink-driving French woman who caused an accident on New Year’s Eve tried to blame police for the crash. 

The woman, who allegedly caused a minor head-on with a taxi on Frankton Road, had been driving according to European driving rules – on the wrong side of the road for New Zealand, Blackford says. 

“Her argument was that her government let her drive here on a French licence so we should accept some responsibility. 

“The fact that she had an excess breath alcohol reading probably had something to do why she was driving on the wrong side of the road.” 

A 19-year-old Kiwi man was arrested for drink-driving and dangerous driving after a car chase early on Wednesday. 

The man was driving on Frankton Rd and decided to speed up when he saw a police car. 

Police followed him, driving at speeds of up to 122kmh before he was eventually stopped at 3.56am. 

He produced a breath-alcohol reading of 669 micrograms. The legal limit is 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath. 

A 20-year-old Irishman was processed for drink-driving early on New Year’s Day. 

He was stopped on Robins Rd at 8.30am and produced a breath-alcohol reading of 639mcg. 

Boozed Brits abroad 

A 26-year-old Englishman was arrested for intentional damage after smashing a window at his place of accommodation. 

The man, who was heavily intoxicated, kicked in the front door of reception at the Lofts Apartments on Shotover St at 11.50am on New Year’s Day. 

“He then smashed the window,” Duffy says. “That’s going to cost him $1200 to replace.” 

Four English men were arrested for urinating in the lift of SkyCity Casino at 11.40pm on Tuesday. 

A 24-year-old Auckland man was given a pre-charge warning for offensive behaviour for also piddling on Shotover St on Wednesday night. 

New Year’s Eve drug bust 

A drug bust was among 34 arrests on New Year’s Eve in Queenstown. 

A Christchurch man was allegedly found to have more than 100g of cannabis on him plus a “considerable amount” of cash – in various denominations – senior constable Chris Blackford says. 

“It would appear he’s come here for the purpose of making some money from New Year’s Eve revellers.” 

The man has been charged with possession of cannabis for supply and bailed till he appears in Queenstown District Court on Monday. 

Most of the 34 arrests police made were for disorderly and offensive behaviour, Blackford says.