Man claims rifle pointed at him

EVAN HARDING
Last updated 13:49 23/09/2013
Southland Times photo
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
Police at Greenhills, Southland.

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The armed offenders squad was called to a rural Southland property this morning after a man said his neighbour pointed a rifle at him. 

Corey Vreugdenhil said he was driving home about 8.45am past his neighbour Les Cooper, who he says came out on his balcony and pointed a long-barrelled rifle at him.

Mr Vreugdenhil said he tooted his horn before stopping and backing up his Nissan Patrol to check what he had seen, but Mr Cooper had gone from his balcony.

Mr Vreugdenhil said he called police, who told him to go home and stay there and the armed offenders squad would be called.

A witness saw Mr Cooper leaving his property and he was spoken to by police near the corner of the Bluff-Invercargill highway. An armed police officer was guarding Mr Cooper's property soon after.

Southland area commander Inspector Lane Todd today confirmed police were called to a rural address in Omaui at about about 8.45 this morning.

''An allegation has been made that a male resident pointed what appeared to be a rifle at a neighbour as he was driving past,'' Mr Todd said.

Mr Todd said police attended the scene with the armed offenders squad.

''A male [who The Southland Times understands to be Les Cooper] is currently being spoken to by police, he is co-operative," Mr Todd said.

"No firearms were located. Police enquiries are continuing."

Police documents say there is an extensive history of threats and violence between Mr Vreugdenhil and Mr Cooper, with more than 15 incidents between the pair during the past six years.

The long-running feud between the two Southland neighbours was behind the botched police arrest of Mr Vreugdenhil last year, resulting in police ultimately agreeing this month to pay him $14,000 in damages and costs.

Three constables were found to have unlawfully entered Mr Vreugdenhil's Greenhills home to arrest him after receiving a complaint of intimidation from Mr Cooper.

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- The Southland Times

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