5 Oct 2013

Passenger flees in patrol car

1:33 pm on 5 October 2013

Hamilton police are searching for a man who escaped a crash scene in a marked patrol car.

They say he had been a passenger in a car being driven by a woman whose alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

After the crash in the suburb of Melville at 7.15am on Saturday, the driver fled the scene and hid in a house.

Passers-by directed officers to her whereabouts, but while they were looking for her, her passenger got into a patrol car and drove away.

Inspector Paul Carpenter says the car was found 20 minutes later undamaged by Hamilton's Lake Rotoroa and the man is still missing.

Mr Carpenter has praised members of the public for their help in finding the driver, who has since been charged with dangerous driving and excessive breath alcohol.