Traffic cameras were used to track a man who allegedly led police on two high-speed car chases in a three-hour period and hit speeds in excess of 160kmh on Wellington's urban motorway.
Wellington tactical response manager Inspector Terry van Dillen said police received complaints about the man's driving in the CBD.
Police said when they stopped the man near the Oriental Bay end of Wakefield St about 2pm on Thursday, the man rammed their car and took off, narrowly missing an officer who had to jump out of the way.
Officers in another car, who had arrived as backup, pursued the man through the CBD for a short time but lost him in Mt Cook, where he ditched his car and took off on foot.
That prompted police to set up a cordon around the southern end of Tory St, van Dillen said.
"We didn't shut the city down but we cordoned it off quite tight, which would have been an inconvenience for some people, so I want to thank the public for their patience around that."
The driver was found nearby in a car belonging to an "associate", which he allegedly used to evade police again. This time, the chase moved on to the motorway heading north, police said, where the man clocked up speeds of more than 160kmh.
Police used motorway cameras to track his movements into Johnsonville, where he disappeared yet again. After establishing another cordon and searching the streets of Johnsonville, police found the man at an associate's house.
"As the dog handler and the police made a front-door entrance, he got caught running out the back."
A Whanganui man, 32, appeared in Wellington District Court yesterday.
He was charged with dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to remain stopped, failing to stop after a non-injury accident, failing to stop while exceeding the speed limit, and possession of methamphetamine and LSD.
He was remanded in custody.
- The Dominion Post