Youth arrested after suburban stand-off

Last updated 05:00 24/12/2012

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A 16-year-old Hamilton youth was arrested after a stand-off with armed police in the suburb of Dinsdale yesterday.

Police were called to the scene about 8am after reports of a man shooting at a passing car with a gun and smashing parked cars with a softball bat or golf club.

Officers arrived to find a 16-year-old boy walking down the middle of Whatawhata Rd, armed with an array of weapons.

The teen was ordered to lie on the ground and after a brief stand-off, was arrested.

One Whatawhata Rd resident, who did not want to be named, said she was woken about 8am by a young man screaming obscenities outside her house.

"He was screaming his head off, yelling ‘f... this' and ‘f... that'," she said.

"I looked out the window and saw about three cops talking to the guy. They were saying ‘Get on the ground, get on the ground'. One of the policeman had a gun and I thought this young guy must have murdered someone."

Police Senior Sergeant Andrew O'Reilly said a softball bat, knife and slug pistol were found at the scene.

"Armed police confronted the offender and using voice appeals negotiated his surrender without incident," he said.

The teenager was taken into custody and was expected to appear in the Hamilton District Court today on a range of charges.

"At this point the offender is still being interviewed but it appears alcohol had played a major part in a domestic dispute the youth had been involved in with his family," Mr O'Reilly said.

One Whatawhata Rd resident, who also did not want to be named, told the Waikato Times the stand-off could have turned a lot more serious if the teenager hadn't co-operated with police.

"Three or four officers were carrying black rifles, they were taking it very seriously. Once the young guy was on the ground they just jumped on him," she said.

"I could hear him yelling at police, saying ‘You threatened to shoot me'. He didn't appear drunk but police made sure they kept him on the ground."

She said an officer stayed at the scene for several hours until a police photographer arrived to document weapons left at the scene.

Mr O'Reilly commended the officers involved in the stand-off.

"I can't speak highly enough of the staff involved; by using the skills and training available to them, they were able to escalate then de-escalate the situation without anyone being hurt.

"Unfortunately at this time of year, with people having time off and living on top of one another over the summer holidays, tensions can rise and alcohol can be a dangerous mix. What we ask people to think about is ways of managing the stresses of Christmas and where possible, seek help."

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- Waikato Times

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