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Firearm threat traumatised cop

Last updated 14:09 22/08/2013

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A police officer was so traumatised at having a firearm pointed at him that he suffered flashbacks, needed to take sick leave and later left the police.

Brendon Berkett who fell backwards as he ducked out of aim did not know that he was staring down the barrel of a fake firearm.

Vincent Mizzi, 44, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm and three charges of threatening to cause grievous bodily harm when he appeared in the Napier District Court today.

In the early hours of Christmas morning, Mizzi threatened to stab a police officer who visited his Hastings home following up a noise complaint, the police summary of facts reads. Police seized the stereo and left the address.

Three hours later, Mizzi walked into the Hastings police station foyer, shouted profanities at a constable and threatened to stab him.

Mizzi then lifted a realistic-looking imitation firearm to his waist and pointed the barrel at a second constable who came to assist. The officer fell backwards through an internal door shouting "he's got a gun".

Mizzi was arrested trying to leave the station.

Mr Berkett said he was so traumatised that he suffered flashbacks of the incident.

It made him reflect on his life and the risks involved in being a police officer. He no longer felt safe doing his job and decided to leave the force. Mizzi was remanded in custody for sentence in October.

Contact Tracey Chatterton
Hawke's Bay reporter
Email: tracey.chatterton@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @trackchatt

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