Youth sparks police callout in Pareora
Police used a 'distraction device'MEGAN MILLER AND LOUISE BERWICK
A 17-year-old Pareora youth was at the centre of an armed offenders squad callout yesterday in Pareora Avenue.
Police responded after a caller reported a male with a knife and a can of petrol who was involved in a domestic dispute.
Sergeant Anthony Callon said the youth was inside the home alone when police arrived shortly after midday.
A family member who had been inside with the youth had left the residence before police arrived.
He did not have any other weapons in his possession, Mr Callon said.
AOS and police negotiators spoke with the youth, who at one point went outside the home and set fire to a council rubbish bin and a tyre.
Several minutes later, bystanders heard two sharp pops. The noise was created by a "distraction device" police used so that they could move in and restrain an individual, Mid-South Canterbury Area Commander Dave Gaskin said.
No one was injured, and no firearms were discharged at the scene, he said.
Neighbours and friends watched from behind a police cordon as a plume of black smoke drifted into the sky.
Bystander Kroydon Seeler, 17, said the person involved was his "good mate" and he had been visiting him only minutes before the incident.
He said an argument had broken out at his friend's house between family members.
Mr Seeler said his friend's mother had called the police.
The young man had a knife and petrol in his room, Mr Seeler said.
Neighbour Amber Dean said she was alerted to the situation when she received a call from her partner that there were police cars in the area.
"I got a bit of a shock when there was a bunch of SWAT guys standing on our lawn," she said.
Ms Dean said she stayed inside her home but she could hear police negotiators talking with the youth over a megaphone.
They were urging him not to start a fire and telling him to consider the safety of others, Ms Dean said.
They also told him to tie up his dog, she said.
The youth was taken to Timaru and was spoken to by the emergency health team, Mr Gaskin said.
Police were awaiting the team's recommendation and would then decide how to proceed with criminal charges.
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