Drunken Aussie tourists subdued with pepper spray

JOHN EDENS IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 18/08/2012

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Two drunken Aussie mates were restrained by police and bouncers and then pepper-sprayed in central Queenstown.

Senior Constable Chris Blackford, of Queenstown, said the two 20-year-old men were arrested in The Mall at 11.50pm on Thursday after one of the pair removed his shirt and smashed a Reading Cinema window.

He was so intoxicated that police needed help from bouncers to restrain the man, who was only subdued when he was pepper-sprayed.

Mr Blackford said the man argued with his mate, who tried to calm him down, but the man pulled his shirt off, lashed out and kicked at the cinema door before bouncers and police arrived.

As he was being subdued his mate ran over and he, too, was pepper-sprayed.

Both men spent the night in custody and were charged with disorderly behaviour likely in the circumstances to cause violence, wilful damage and resisting police.

It follows other booze-fuelled incidents involving Australians on holiday in Queenstown making headlines, but police said they were not singling out bad behaviour of tourists from across the ditch.

Meanwhile, a 24-year-old French backpacker was charged with shoplifting from Fresh Choice in Gorge Rd.

He was challenged by a security guard as he left the supermarket, ran back into the store, removed items from his pockets and tried to put food back on the shelves.

A 29-year-old New Zealander was arrested at a backpackers in Queenstown and charged with disorderly behaviour. He is expected to appear in Queenstown District Court on Monday.

DRUNK TOURIST FOUND IN GUTTER

Another Australian tourist has got himself into strife while visiting the Southern Lakes, missing his flight after drinking his dad's duty-free booze in Wanaka.

Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell, of Wanaka, said the freezing cold 33-year-old man from Victoria was picked up by police in a gutter at 7am yesterday.

He passed out during a frosty night after apparently drinking an entire bottle of duty-free Chivas Regal.

The whisky was bought by the tourist as a present for his father but he decided to drink it, he said.

He was scheduled to fly back to Australia from Queenstown Airport yesterday but missed his flight and spent most of the day in detox.

The man was so drunk he was unable to talk but had not committed an offence.

He said he was going to spend another night or two in the region before catching a flight back to Australia.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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