Police take away man from motel

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 08:18 31/01/2013
Liza Buno
Scott Hammond
Shocked: Liza Buno was surprised to be at the centre of a police Armed Offenders Squad call-out in Blenheim yesterday

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The owner of the Blenheim Spa Motor Lodge in Blenheim said the man who barricaded himself in his room threatening to hurt himself yesterday was "a normal walk-in guest".

Liza Buno was surprised to get a phone call from police about 9am asking if the man was staying at her lodge.

When she confirmed there was a man of the same last name staying there, they told her not to approach him, she said.

"I was surprised but I didn't panic, I just locked all the doors and the garage and made sure I had my dog so she didn't interfere with the police."

After a series of phone calls from the police, Ms Buno was told to evacuate the property about 10.30am because the man was threatening to hurt himself.

Ms Buno's other guests had already checked out for the day, and her two staff and black labrador, Jessie, waited along the street, she said.

The man had arrived on Monday night and paid for two nights accommodation up front.

He did not have a vehicle and she did not notice anything noteworthy about his behaviour, she said.

"I didn't know who he was when the police rang, he was just like a normal walk-in guest."

Ms Buno's partner, Nick James, said yesterday afternoon they had to hire professional cleaners to clean the man's room, after police had completed a scene investigation.

"The room is totally soaked with blood," he said.

Colonial Motel owner Shona Etheredge said police used her neighbouring property to scope out the man's room, which was directly opposite her motel.

"There were lots of police everywhere, all through the bushes and the rooms - no one could tell what was happening."

"That's probably why the locals thought the man was here."

It was initially reported the man was staying at the Colonial Motel.

Mrs Etheredge was told by police to stay indoors. Luckily all her guests had left for the day and she had no early check-ins, she said.

About 1.20pm she heard the police dogs barking and a man shouting.

She saw police apprehending a naked man and then saw him loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher soon after.

"It was very professionally done," she said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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