Chase driver takes swing at female cop

PAUL EASTON
Last updated 13:33 14/02/2013

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Hutt Valley

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A man led police on a car chase through Lower Hutt at twice the speed limit, before swinging a punch at a female officer and running away.

He was nabbed a short time later, after he fled into a railway underpass and popped up in front of a police dog handler.

The incident happened at 11am this morning, acting senior sergeant Andrzej Kowalczyk of Lower Hutt police said.

It happened jsut hours after a police chase in central Wellington where three people were arrested.

A female officer in an unmarked police car spotted a suspicious vehicle heading along Eastern Hutt Rd.

When she went to pull over the male driver and his female passenger, he accelerated away.

The car reached speeds of 100kmh in a residential area, prompting the police officer to back off.

‘‘It was a good call, it’s just not worth it,’’ Mr Kowalczyk said.

The driver bailed out of the car near the Taita shops, and it rolled into a tree at low speed.

The man fled, but for some reason returned to the car while the police officer was talking to the female passenger.

He denied being the driver, but was swiftly outed by his companion, Mr Mr Kowalczyk said.

The police officer grabbed his shirt, but he swung a punch at her, and fled.

‘‘Luckily she ducked.’’

Lower Hutt police soon spotted the man, entering an underpass near the Taita Railway Station.

‘‘He popped out again right in front of a police dog handler. He gave up straight away, after they warned him they’d let the dog go.’’

A Porirua man, 20, was arrested and charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop for red and blue flashing lights and aggravated assault.

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