PHOTO/FILE

Napier man facing charges

EMMA BROWN
emma.brown@age.co.nz

A man’s joyride through Wairarapa in a stolen vehicle sparked a police pursuit on Thursday night – with the last 18km of the chase driven “on the rims” after the tyres of the vehicle were spiked.

Police received several calls late Thursday afternoon about a car driving dangerously and doing burnouts in Lower Hutt.

One person reported seeing the car doing burnouts outside Lower Hutt police station at one point.

Police attempts to locate the car were initially unsuccessful.

At 7.15pm, police were advised that a black Commodore had collided with a ute on State Highway 2, near Marchant Rd, Pakuratahi, in Upper Hutt.

The driver of the Commodore allegedly threatened the driver of the ute, before taking it and driving north on SH2, over the Remutaka Hill.

The police pursuit began in Featherston, with two lead cars involved, though some witnesses reported there were several more police cars involved.

This could not be confirmed by police.

The chase continued through Greytown and Carterton, with police deploying road spikes at the Waingawa Bridge, south of Masterton, which police said caused the front tyres of the offending vehicle to deflate, but the driver did not stop.

One witness opposite KFC in Masterton said they saw a ute come rattling past.

“It was grinding the road, running on the rims.”

He said he saw two police cars in very close pursuit and another six police cars following.

A SH2 resident in Opaki heard a loud vehicle go past with at least four police cars behind it.

“The vehicle was making a loud flapping noise,” thought to be the shredded tyres.

The chase continued north of Masterton, ending near Mikimiki Rd, where the vehicle finally came to a stop.

The driver was apprehended at approximately 8.10pm.

The driver, a 31-year-old Napier man, is facing several charges, including failing to stop for police, assault, reckless driving, dangerous driving, possession of an offensive weapon, and endangering transport.

He appeared in Masterton District Court on Friay and has been remanded in custody until August 15.