Police ramming accused remanded in custody
A Hamilton man is facing a number driving related charges after allegedly ramming four police vehicles during a pursuit in Tauranga.
Benjamin Hati is facing nine charges including reckless driving and failing to stop when requested by an enforcement officer whilst exceeding the speed limit.
The 36-year-old is also charged with four counts of aggravated assault of a police officer, failing to stop after being involved in an accident, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and driving on the wrong side of a median barrier with reckless disregard for the safety of others.
The events took place when police signaled for a vehicle to pull over on Hewletts Road around 10.45pm.
“It failed to do so and was pursued by police, but due to the manner of driving the pursuit was immediately abandoned,” says a police spokesperson.
Road spikes were deployed near the Bayfair roundabout and the car was again pursued along Maunganui Road.
The car slowed and rammed the police car.
“On Matapihi Road, the driver rammed a second police car. Road spikes were again deployed and while travelling at slow speed, the driver again attempted several times to ram a police car.
“The driver then stopped the car and the passengers ran off on foot.”
Police say the passengers allegedly stole a second vehicle and attempted to flee the scene in the stolen vehicle.
“They were blocked in by police and the occupants were arrested.
“Four police cars were damaged in the incident, but fortunately no police staff were injured.”
During his court appearance today, the accused’s lawyer Taryn Bayley asked that he be remanded in custody without plea for disclosure and instructions.
Judge David Cameron remanded Hati in custody until his next appearance on February 5.