All part of the job, says poleaxed cop
A Matamata cop knocked unconscious by a drunken, angry pub patron says it hasn't put him off his job or the town.
Anthony Allan Mcallister, 38, yesterday admitted a charge of wounding with intent to injure Senior Constable Martin Capener, as prosecutors wrapped up their evidence in his trial in Hamilton District Court.
He was originally charged with the more serious aggravated wounding, following the incident at the TRAC Sports Bar on November 10 last year.
The court heard Mcallister was drinking at the bar with his partner when he became involved in a verbal disagreement with another man, John Tokona, just before 1am.
After a short time, Mr Tokona left and was followed by Mcallister.
Mr Capener and Constable Brentleigh Currie were on duty at the bar, and were standing outside when Mr Tokona went past.
They watched as Mcallister punched Mr Tokona repeatedly in the head.
Mr Capener grabbed Mcallister, pulling him away from Mr Tokona and across the road to his patrol car.
But once there, Mcallister remained "generally aggressive", and was pepper sprayed by Mr Capener, an officer of 27 years.
It didn't work and Mcallister was sprayed again, but he responded replied by punching Mr Capener twice in the head, knocking him to the ground.
Other officers then ran to Mr Capener's aid and restrained Mcallister.
Mcallister admitted a charge of injuring Mr Tokona with intent before the trial started.
Mr Capener suffered a large gash to his face that required 11 stitches, along with a number of other small cuts to his face, bruising and a broken rib.
After the guilty plea outside court, Mr Capener said the assault hadn't put him off policing despite it being the most serious assault he'd suffered over the years.
"I've had minor assaults, but nothing like that before."
He was pleased with Mcallister's guilty plea, albeit late.
"I'm happy that he's acknowledged that he did something, but it could have come a lot earlier."
Mr Capener had been policing in Matamata for 17 years and had no plans to move.
Mcallister was also issued a first strike warning by Judge David Ruth as the charge was a qualifying violent offence.
Judge Ruth then remanded Mcallister on bail and urged him to "keep his nose clean" until sentencing in October, when the more serious charge will be withdrawn.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Were the Chiefs robbed at the New Zealand rugby awards?Related story: (See story)