Weekend of ‘violence’


Queenstown’s drinking culture is under the spotlight again after a series of alleged violent assaults during the past two weeks.

Police made seven separate arrests in late-night incidents at the weekend.

Officers had to subdue one drinker with pepper spray after an altercation at a bar, while another is accused of assaulting a female officer. Yet another is alleged to have punched, head-butted and bit a doorman.

They follow a sickening assault last Sunday which left a victim, a 37-year-old Auckland man, needing surgery.

The victim had two plates surgically placed in his eye and cheek at hospital in Invercargill after an alleged assault incident in downtown Queenstown’s SkyBar.

Police have reissued an appeal for information about the unprovoked assault on the dance floor.

Separately, officers used pepper spray to subdue an Irish man in his 20s who allegedly resisted arrest on Saturday evening.

The man was with two others, one Irish and one Scottish, who were asked to leave Searle Lane bar about 12.40am.

“They allegedly became aggressive – and abused and pushed the bouncer,” senior constable Chris Blackford says.

The men were charged with disorderly behaviour.

A day later at the same bar, a female police officer was allegedly punched in the arm by a 23-year-old woman who had been refused entry. The woman has been charged with assaulting police and disorderly behaviour.

A 25-year-old man had been arrested in relation to an assault on Searle Lane about half-an-hour before, allegedly punching a doorman who had asked him to leave a bar.

And a 23-year-old New Zealand man was charged with assault after allegedly assaulting a bouncer at Buffalo Club on Brecon Street in the early hours of Monday morning.

The man was one of three denied entry at 2.05am because they were too drunk and the bar was closing.

“It’s alleged he punched and head-butted one of the doormen, and also bit his hand,” Blackford says.

Police also arrested a 52-year-old Queenstown man after a report of an assault on Hensman Road at 2.45pm on Sunday.

The man is accused of kicking a neighbour after a long-running dispute between the two men escalated.

All those charged are due to appear in Queenstown District Court over the coming week, either before JPs in new afternoon sessions or on Monday.

Unwanted guests

Occupants of a Queenstown hotel room woke to find a drunken man in their room in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The man had entered the room on Frankton Rd at 4am via the balcony door.

“He was spoken to by the night porter and stated he was looking for friends,” Blackford says.

“By the time police arrived he could not be located.”

Frenchman known to police

A Frenchman was arrested in relation to theft after he was fingered by officers from a CCTV image.

The 29-year-old is accused of stealing a bottle of liquor from Betty’s Liquor on Camp St on July 11.

The shopkeeper took photos from the shop’s CCTV system to the police station, which were passed around officers who identified who they believe to be the man.

Taxi cab trouble

Police say inquiries are continuing after pedestrians accused a Queenstown taxi driver of backing into them while talking on his cell phone.

No one was injured in the incident at 8.55pm on Searle Lane on Sunday.

“One of the pedestrians is due to come into the station to make a complaint,” Blackford says.