on for 03usmc

on for 03usmc
April 15th, 2005  

Topic: on for 03usmc

on for 03usmc
Son used as shield against police dog
15 April 2005

A 28-year-old Rotorua man, high on drugs, used his 10-year-old son as a human shield and left him at the mercy of a police dog after being chased through a gully system on the outskirts of Hamilton.

The boy was bitten by a police dog during the chase but was not seriously injured.

Cambridge police Sergeant Gordon Grantham said the boy was an "innocent victim of his father's offending".

The man was wanted by police after a Cambridge woman disturbed him trying to enter her house on Wednesday afternoon.

He drove off but the woman noted the registration of his car, which was seen a short while later by a highway patrol on the outskirts of Cambridge.

The driver took off before the officer could reach him and the subsequent chase reached speeds of 150km/h. Deciding it was too dangerous to continue, the officer abandoned the chase while police cordons were set up in surrounding areas.

Two builders on Windmill Rd, Tamahere, saw a "smoking" car hurriedly driven into their driveway before heading down a neighbour's driveway.

One of the builders became suspicious of the car because of the manner in which it was being driven and of the man's actions and phoned the police.

Police arrived and secured the area but the car's two occupants took off on foot down a gully tracked by police and a sniffer dog.

As the dog approached, the man allegedly pushed his 10-year-old son in front of himself as a shield against the dog which bit the child on the leg.

The man then attacked the police dog, banging it on the head with a bucket which police said contained 2.5kg of cannabis. The man then began attacking the dog handler with the bucket as he tried to move the police dog away from the boy.

Inspector Graham Matthews said the man struggled violently with police and began spitting at officers who forcibly put him in the car.

He said methamphetamine and cannabis were found in the man's car along with methamphetamine utensils. Police said when he was strip-searched two small bags of cannabis were found tied to the man's genitals.

"His whole demeanour and conduct indicated he was under the influence of drugs," Mr Matthews said.

Handcuffed at Hamilton Central police station, he bit the hand of one constable and tried to head-butt another.

Mr Grantham said the man used his innocent son as decoy.

Mr Grantham thanked the public for "notifying the police immediately of their suspicions as it prevented other members of the public becoming victims of his offending".

Mr Grantham said the man was responsible for at least eight burglaries.

In the Hamilton District Court yesterday, the man had his first court appearance in a secure hearing cell because of concerns about containing him in a courtroom.

He entered no plea to charges of driving with an excess breath-alcohol level, driving while disqualified, failing to stop for police, failing to remain stopped, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault on police, possessing cannabis plants for supply, possessing methamphetamine and four charges of burglary.

Community Magistrate Mary Symmans remanded the man in custody to appear before a judge on Monday for a bail hearing.

The boy was treated by a doctor before being returned to his family.