Last week police were warning road users about hopeless tourists – now they’re saying watch out for morning drink-drivers.
Police say motorists need to be on their guard first thing after a man was allegedly caught drink-driving shortly before 9am last week.
The 22-year-old American was stopped in the Queenstown CBD on Monday morning and allegedly gave a breath alcohol reading of 755 micrograms per litre of breath – almost double the limit.
“He was allegedly driving around the streets at 8.48am grossly intoxicated,” Blackford says.
“This shows again the need for people to wear seatbelts because there are people out there who will drive grossly intoxicated at any hour of the day.
“They don’t care about the consequences or other people’s safety, only themselves.
“So it pays to take care on the roads.”
The warning comes a week after local police senior sergeant John Fookes urged local motorists and pedestrians to be extra vigilant ahead of the expected summer influx of tourist drivers unfamiliar with New Zealand roads and easily distracted by scenery.
“Take the initiative and give them plenty of room,” he said.
Queenstown’s mayor Vanessa van Uden and Destination Queenstown boss Graham Budd echoed his concerns and asked locals to be patient and considerate with tourist drivers.
Bizarre crime spree
A teenager who allegedly went on a bizarre crime spree through Queenstown streets has been remanded in custody.
Esfae Katoa, 19, of Fernhill, was arrested by police on Sunday and appeared at Queenstown District Court on Monday, where he was remanded for a mental health assessment under section 38 of the Mental Health Act.
Senior constable Chris Blackford, before the court appearance, says: “It’s alleged he approached a man and bullied him into buying him a McDonald’s.
“He then made him swap jackets before pulling the man to an ATM machine and demanding $40.
“When the man put his card and pin in, he pushed him out of the way and withdrew $1300,” Blackford alleges.
Katoa was charged with demanding money from the victim “with menaces” with intent to steal it.
On Monday, police charged Katoa with two other offences, injuring with intent and assault with intent.
Katoa had allegedly approached two men as they walked home to Fernhill last Thursday night, demanding cigarettes. Katoa then allegedly elbowed one of them in the nose and punched the other in the face.
Katoa is remanded in custody until November 4.
Amateur stripper is a keeper
A 26-year-old Christchurch woman was arrested after trying to strip in a Queenstown strip club and allegedly punching the duty manager.
The woman – a customer at Shotover’s Club 88 on Saturday – has been charged with assault and disorderly behaviour.
Blackford says: “It’s alleged she became abusive towards other patrons because [she didn’t think] they were tipping the staff enough.
“Then she’s decided to strip off her clothes and show the dancers how it is done.
“She was asked to leave and allegedly punched the duty manager,” Blackford says.
“She’s described as intoxicated, abusive, irrational and violent.”
Police were called to assist door staff shortly after midnight on Saturday morning.
Club 88 owner Adam Nagy says he was away during the weekend of the incident but understands the duty manager and other staff are all okay.
“I believe the lady had a little too much and so we cut her off – and she got a bit excited.
“She got asked to leave the venue as well and I think that got to her as well,” Nagy tells Mountain Scene.
It’s been a busy week at the adult entertainment spot – last Thursday it held a special ladies night as a breast cancer fundraiser, donating $120 towards the annual appeal.
Nagy says his dance club staff also helped collect for the appeal earlier this month out at Frankton.
Crashes while ‘showing off’
A 39-year-old Queenstown man allegedly crashed his car while showing off to his mates.
The driver was being filmed while driving along the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road at 3.30pm on Saturday.
“He’s lost control and come to a rest down the bank near Bob’s Cove,” Blackford says.
“It’s alleged he was showing off to friends.”
There were no injuries.
Man ‘trying doors’
Police were called to Goldrush Way in Queenstown at 10.30pm on Sunday after receiving reports of a man trying house doors.
“He was confronted by a member of the public but police were unable to locate the man when they arrived,” Blackford says.
The man is described as Maori, 165cm tall with short hair underneath a cap.
Rowdy local: ‘I’ll finish you’
An unemployed teenager living in Queenstown has admitted disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence.
Cameron John Allan Black, 18, pleaded guilty on Tuesday after an incident in Ballarat Street on September 15 – he also admitted resisting a police constable.
Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin told Queenstown District Court Black was intoxicated and on his own about 1.20am in The Mall when he walked by a group he didn’t know, challenging them to a fight.
A female tried to calm him before he walked up to a male telling him he was “going to finish him off’’, the court heard.
Police approached Black, described as “belligerent”.
Black tried to flee, was arrested and restrained in handcuffs, broke free and tried to run again but was restrained by police.
Black refused to walk to the patrol car and instead “simply sat down”.
Sergeant Collin said Black was carried to the car and continued his abuse.
Defence counsel Sonia Vidal said Black was remorseful and had been highly intoxicated with little recollection of the incident.
“He’s embarrassed about how he behaved towards police and does wish to offer an apology.”
Judge John McDonald sentenced Black to 50 hours’ community work on each charge, to be added to an existing sentence of community work.