Cops use fugitive's BMX in Ham East chase

JONATHAN CARSON
Last updated 15:20 15/01/2014
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BEN CURRAN/Fairfax NZ

COP ATTACKED: Police have increased patrols in Hamilton East after an officer was attacked outside the drugs shop on Grey St (foreground).

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A police officer used a fugitive's beat-up BMX to chase down and arrest him in Hamilton East this morning.

It started with the man, aged in his 20s, being stopped by police for not wearing a cycle helmet.

It ended with him in a police cell.

While being spoken to about not wearing a helmet, the man ditched his bike and started running.

One officer ran after him while the other jumped on the abandoned BMX and gave chase.

Hamilton man Paul Cully saw the pursuit unfold while driving along Grey St about 9:45am.

The man, who was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, was running in the middle of the road towards the Clyde St intersection.

''He was being pursued by one policeman. It wasn't exactly high-speed. I mean, he was a big guy even though he looked like he was in his 20s, he was puffing a bit,'' Mr Cully said.

''He managed to evade the policeman, I think, by running around a car. Then he started running back up Grey St.

''It was at that point I saw another policeman come cycling across the road on a BMX. I don't know where he got the BMX. It was a very, very old BMX and, obviously, it was not something you'd forget in a hurry. It looked very small compared to the policeman.''

Mr Cully said it looked as though the man fell over on the road outside Hamilton Hardware Store and the officer on the bike and his colleague struggled with him on the ground before arresting him.

The man was yelling and swearing, Mr Cully said.

''He obviously wasn't too happy.''

He described the incident as ''comical and alarming''.

Senior Sergeant Rupert Friend said he believed the man was wanted on a warrant to arrest.

''He's still sitting in the cells and we're pretty sure he's giving false details,'' he said this afternoon.

Police have increased patrols in Grey St after an officer was attacked and violence broke out on Tuesday.

''We've made sure staff are aware of it and in any spare time they've got they pay a visit down there and go for a walk to try and make the locals feel safe,'' Mr Friend said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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