Man jailed after police dog attack
A North Shore man who pretended to shoot at police with a high-powered air rifle and injured a police dog has been jailed for nearly two years.
Mark Christopher Brown, 50, from the Auckland suburb of Torbay, was arrested in June following an Armed Offenders Squad callout during which he fired the weapon into the surrounding neighbourhood and at a police helicopter.
The air gun sounded as though it was being fired because Brown was cocking it and pulling the trigger, but it was not loaded with live rounds, police later found.
He was charged with using a firearm against police, intentionally injuring a police dog and assault with a weapon, to which he pleaded guilty soon after appearing in court.
Brown initially barricaded himself inside a property, but police negotiators were able to coax him out after speaking with him over the phone.
He didn't come quietly though, charging out of the house wearing a motorcycle helmet and firing several shots at waiting officers.
A police dog sent in managed to subdue Brown, but suffered several hard blows from the rifle.
The dog was taken to a vet for treatment and the offender was hospitalised with dog bites.
Police had come to the house after a flatmate of Brown's reported a "disturbed man" was brandishing a high-powered air rifle.
They arrived at the Awaruku Rd house soon after with a cordon placed around a large area bordered by Stredwick Drive and Glenvar Rd. Three hours later Brown was taken into custody.
Brown's lawyer said the aim of his actions on June 14 was for police to shoot at him and he had shouted at them repeatedly to do so.
The incident occurred because his access to his children had been restricted, the lawyer said.
Judge Allison Sinclair said the offending came against the backdrop of some serious mental health issues.
Because police found no ammunition on the property, she agreed it was likely the gun had been unloaded throughout the incident.
The judge jailed Brown for 23 months, but gave him leave to apply for home detention if he could find an appropriate property to serve the sentence.
Brown was also ordered to pay $195 to cover the veterinary treatment for the laceration to the dog's head.