A South Auckland youth worker charged with a vicious attack on a police officer has denied a charge of attempted murder.
Walter George Tauatevalu, 38, pleaded not guilty when he appeared in the High Court in Auckland on Wednesday.
The charge followed the attack on police officer Sergeant Simon Tate on September 7.
Detective Inspector Jim Gallagher says the alleged attack happened late on a Saturday night after Mr Tate was responding to a call about a disturbance at the Manukau Sports Bowl.
He was driving in the area when he was waved down and told that a woman was in trouble in a car.
He found and followed the car before stopping it on Sandrine Ave and talking to the driver and then to the female passenger. As he was speaking to the passenger, Mr Tate was "struck from behind with a powerful blow from a fist".
"He was dropped to the ground and punched and kicked profusely for what seems to be a lengthy period of time," Mr Gallagher says.
Had it not been for two women who came to the officer's aid, the result could have been much worse.
The officer was left in a "very severe state of unconsciousness with laboured breathing" and was bleeding from the head. He was recently released from hospital and is recovering at home with his partner Constable Lisa Ross.
Tauatevalu also pleaded not guilty to two counts of male assaults female stemming from the incident and will be back in court in November.
Fairfax NZ News
- © Fairfax NZ News
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