Police in the western Waikato are urging a man believed responsible for a Christmas Day attack on two police officers in Huntly to turn himself in before the community does.
"We are following strong leads in relation to identifying and hopefully locating the main offender and others involved, and feedback from residents suggests Huntly locals were just as appalled about what happened as police," area commander Inspector Paul Carpenter said.
Investigators had been buoyed by the large level of public support from residents who said Tuesday's attack had nothing to do with the spirit of their town.
Carpenter said the best thing the offender could do was to contact police and arrange to hand himself in.
In the incident, two Huntly police officers were following up a boy racer complaint.
Police said they were arresting a teenage car driver who was resisting, when intoxicated people from two nearby parties converged on the officers' patrol car.
A "large male" ran at one of the officers and king-hit him from behind, knocking the officer to the ground as the crowd surrounded the patrol car, police said.
Police squads from Hamilton were called and the injured officer was treated for grazing and a cut above one eye.
'DARGAVILLE, DARGAVILLE': BAR OUTBURST LEADS TO ARREST
In a separate incident in Hamilton overnight, a man wanted in relation to a pre-Christmas aggravated robbery was arrested after allegedly trying to incite a crowd in a bar.
Police said officers were carrying out a routine hotel check of a Victoria St bar when the man allegedly began chanting "Dargaville, Dargaville", referring to a serious assault on two police officers in the Northland town on Christmas evening.
"The man was removed from the bar and a background check carried out," Senior Sergeant Andrew O'Reilly said.
"Even considering the man was very intoxicated his behaviour could only be described as extremely stupid and inflammatory.
"Especially given the 21-year-old man was wanted in relation to a pre-Christmas aggravated robbery in Dargaville. For his trouble he will be making an appearance in the Hamilton District Court today."
O'Reilly said police would be cracking down on alcohol abuse as they worked to maintain the Waikato's reputation as a safe, family friendly holiday destination.
- © Fairfax NZ News