Teen in custody after ramming police

An Invercargill teenager who sparked a 12km high-speed police chase and rammed a police vehicle had been involved in another pursuit a month earlier, the Invercargill District Court was told today.

Stephen Terrence Ruke, 18, appeared before Judge John Macdonald today for two charges of driving recklessly, two charges of driving while forbidden, two charges of failing to stop for red and blue flashing lights and one charge of failing to stop for red and blue flashing lights while exceeding the speed limit, unlawfully taking a vehicle, with reckless disregard for the safety of two constables interfered with a police vehicle, burglary, intentionally damaging a wall and failing to answer district court bail.

All offending occurred on May 4, August 29 and September 8.

He was remanded in custody to October 9 for sentence.

Police prosecutor sergeant Denise Harvey said Ruke was driving a vehicle when a police vehicle activated its red and blue flashing lights and siren but he made no attempt to stop.

He accelerated up to speeds of 80kmh in a 50kmh area before abandoning the vehicle and running off, she said.

He was found the following day but denied the offending, she said.

On September 8 Ruke entered a house and took a television and laptop but later argued with his aunty about the items he had taken and punched the wall before leaving in a vehicle, she said.

He reversed out of the driveway and sped away where police followed for a short distance before activating its lights, she said.

He stopped and waited for the officer to approach the door before speeding off and driving at speeds of more than 140kmh making no attempt to stop, she said.

Police were forced to abandon the pursuit but he was later spotted again, Ms Harvey said.

Police vehicles were positioned to intercept him but he accelerated away and drove over a traffic island to avoid them, she said.

He was followed for another 3km and while travelling at speed he hit the front driver's side of a police vehicle while two officers were in it waiting to deploy road spikes, she said.

He was arrested after a 12km pursuit, she said.

When spoken to by police he admitted punching holes in a wall and taking a person's property. He also admitted driving at speeds of more than 100kmh but denied deliberately ramming a police vehicle, Ms Harvey said.

Ruke's lawyer John Fraser applied for bail but it was declined by Judge Macdonald.

The Southland Times