A police constable was back on the beat yesterday after being attacked by a man in custody at the Whitianga Police Station on the weekend.
Senior Sergeant Graham Shields, of Thames Police, confirmed the young constable had been involved in an altercation with a man on Sunday morning, soon after the man was arrested on charges of domestic violence and threatening to kill.
"The constable had been called to a domestic incident down at the beach about 8am where he arrested a man and took him back to the cells at the Whitianga station," Mr Shields said.
"[The constable] opened the door of the cell to allow the man to phone a lawyer which is when the man pushed past him out into the station where the altercation took place."
A local businessman, who asked not be named, was out walking his dog when he heard someone calling for help.
"It was just a voice, it actually sounded like someone trapped in a car or something so I went and had a look.
"A guy came running past me, I didn't think a lot of it but I kept walking and found the policeman leaning on the rail of the ramp outside the police station. He was really angry and he'd clearly been thumped in the head.
"I actually wish I'd got there sooner because I would have dealt to the guy myself. The cops do a good job and they don't deserve that," he said.
Mr Shields said the "highly intoxicated" offender was arrested a few hours after his escape and it served as a reminder that it was hard to get away with things in a small town.
"Everyone knows each other. The guy got nothing out of it except for a possible jail term."
- © Fairfax NZ News