An Australian tourist who battered four people at a Queenstown burger restaurant has been remanded in custody.
Plumber Nicholas Michael Jenkins, 27, admitted one charge of assault with intent to injure and three other assault charges at Queenstown District Court on Monday.
Sergeant Grant Gerken told the court Jenkins’ friend had become involved in a dispute at Shotover Street’s Fergburger restaurant shortly after 3.30am last Wednesday.
Plumber Jenkins had stepped in and punched one man before repeatedly kneeing and punching him in the head over a number of minutes, the court heard.
Jenkins had also punched three other unknown victims during the fracas.
The sustained and violent assault is the second incident in as many weeks at the popular Queenstown fastfood institution.
Two men face serious assault charges after an alleged fracas with three Australian tourists they accused of queue jumping at exactly the same time the Wednesday before the latest incident, August 14.
Ferburger general manager Stephen Bradley says: “We work constantly with the police and our numbers are down on last year in terms of incidents.
“Over the last 12 months we’ve upgraded lighting and cameras. We have a police camera outside and employ a security guard at key times – key nights but not every night, that’s something we’ll monitor with police.
“If you look at the rest of the year there’s been very little but you get a spate of things.”
Jenkins was remanded in custody for sentencing at Invercargill District Court on September 2.
Jenkins’ friend, 31-year-old electrician Jay Walter Fulford, pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly behaviour and was fined $750.
The men allegedly involved in the separate incident the week before – Fernhill chef Tarrant Willis Matthews, 24, and laundry worker Wiremu Cassidy Aramonana – appeared before a registrar last Monday and were remanded on bail until September 9. They have not yet entered pleas.
Aramonana faces one charge of assault with intent to injure while Matthews is charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and two other assaults.
Police hope to identify another man caught on CCTV stealing a handbag from the same restaurant at 4am on Tuesday.
The man is described as Caucasian with a widow’s peak, unshaven, medium build and height, wearing a chocolate brown or maroon hoodie with white writing and light-coloured jeans.
Officers were uploading images to the force’s Facebook page yesterday.
Police called to unruly party
Police helped seized a stereo from an address on Earnslaw Terrace where about 30 Otago University students were partying.
Officers were called to the address by council workers at 2am on Wednesday.
“They’d been warned about noise numerous times by council officers after annoying people with loud music.
Police attended to assist them in seizing the stereo,” sergeant Kate Pirovano says.
The students were said to be petulant with officers and were spoken to about their behaviour.
Inverz youths cause trouble
Police arrested a 17-year-old Invercargill youth after he was allegedly picking fights with people on Robins Road, Queenstown.
The youngster was picked up with two friends, another 17-year-old and a 21-year-old, at 11.50pm on Saturday.
The others were released without charge but the 17-year-old was charged with fighting in a public place and is due to appear in court.
Officers were then called to deal with another group from Invercargill about 30 minutes later on Beach St.
“A 16-year-old was trying to cause problems with other members of the public,” senior constable Chris Blackford says.
“He ran off but was caught by officers. Because of his age he was warned and released into the custody of a sober adult.”
Tea drinker in trouble
A 25-year-old New Zealand man risked a criminal record for a $3.50 cup of tea after refusing to pay for one he’d drunk at Starbucks on The Mall.
The man agreed to pay when collared shortly afterwards by officers, at 6.30pm on Friday, and was given a pre-charge warning.