Vicious highway assault

Last updated 05:00 18/02/2014

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Two couples, including an elderly pair who suffered serious facial injuries, were injured in a vicious highway assault, Queenstown police said yesterday.

Police in Queenstown charged a 32-year-old Gore lineman with assault with intent to injure after an incident on State Highway 6 at 8pm on Saturday.

Sergeant Blair Duffy, of Queenstown, said the man was also charged with a second alleged assault on a middle-aged couple 100 metres from the initial incident.

The alleged assaults happened on a busy highway with slow-moving traffic as thousands of people left the Gibbston Summer Concert venue.

Police described the alleged assault on the elderly pair as vicious.

It appeared the couple, who were driving to Christchurch, expressed concerns because the intoxicated man was walking down the middle of State Highway 6.

They had stopped, pulled over and were outside their car tightening the strops on a trailer when they spoke to the man, who apparently reacted violently.

The male victim, 71, and his partner suffered serious facial injuries and were taken to Lakes District Hospital before travelling to Christchurch.

A middle-aged couple in their 50s also asked the man to get off the road 100 metres from the initial incident.

The woman suffered bruising and a suspected fracture above an eye.

The man is expected to appear in the Queenstown District Court.

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- Southland

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