A man who was pepper-sprayed during the opening night of Winter Festival has been convicted for assault and resisting police.
Jesy Taakarei Ruha-Newey, 23, of Queenstown, appeared before Judge Phillip Moran in the Queenstown District Court charged with resisting police and assault on June 21.
Witnesses told the court about an incident at the top of The Mall on the opening night of Winter Festival. Security guards were posted at the intersection of Camp and Ballarat streets to look after an ice sculpture.
The court was told security guards were confronted by festival-goers and one of the guards was involved in a confrontation with two men.
Another security guard driving past stopped and during talks Ruha-Newey approached one of the guards and allegedly assaulted him with a slap-like strike.
Sergeant Tracy Haggart said one of the guards told her that he was assaulted and when she tried to arrest Ruha-Newey he struggled and resisted.
He was warned twice and then pepper-sprayed but this had little to no effect, she said. He struggled with police and went down on the ground. Ms Haggart caught his head but he continued to resist, placing his arms under his body.
Eventually, Ruha-Newey was handcuffed and he stood up but struggled more as four officers and others tried to get him into the back of a patrol car, the court was told.
He was convicted and discharged for resisting police and convicted and ordered to repay court costs and prosecution expenses for assault.
- The Southland Times