11 Mar 2019

Officer attacked at scene of Whangarei stabbing

4:27 pm on 11 March 2019

Police are probing an assault on an officer and damage to a police vehicle at the scene of a stabbing incident in Whangarei over the weekend.

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Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

An 18-year-old was arrested after a man was stabbed in Otangarei area south of the city on Saturday morning in what police described as a family harm incident. He has since been released as police probe the incident further.

The injured man was taken to the nearby Whangarei Hospital in a serious condition. He is now stable. It is understood there was a significant gang presence inside the hospital during Saturday afternoon.

Police Inspector Wayne Ewers said as officers were at the scene, a numbers of people, including known gang members, arrived at the address and an officer as well as a police vehicle, were attacked.

Police used pepper spray to deal with the incident.

"One of those individuals assaulted a police officer from behind, fortunately the officer did not sustain any injuries," he said.

"A police vehicle at the scene was also significantly damaged. Due to the aggressive and violent behaviour of those individuals, police officers pepper sprayed a number of those involved."

A police guard was in place at the address over the weekend.

Police said they located the alleged offender responsible for most of the damage to the police vehicle. A 23-year-old local male appeared in the Whangarei District Court today on related charges.

Police enquiries were continuing.

Inspector Wayne Ewers said any attack on a police officer was a serious matter and would not be tolerated.

"It is unacceptable and alarming when someone tries to harm one of our staff," he said.

"I want to reassure the community that we are treating this seriously and we will do everything we can to find whoever is responsible and hold them to account."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Whangarei Police on 09 430 4500 or you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.