Police chase ends in mystery
Sat, 28 Apr 2012 6:15p.m.
By Jeff Hampton
Greymouth police are hunting a mystery man last seen calling for help in estuary mud after a police chase early this morning.
The man hasn't been seen since the incident in Cobden, which began when police tried to pull over the car he was in.
With no sign of the man, the police dive squad focussed its search in an estuary in the northern Greymouth suburb of Cobden.
The divers came in from Christchurch after land-based searches turned up nothing. Police blocked the estuary channel.
“There is a gate on it,” says West Coast area commander inspector John Canning. “The gate is set so that what's in it won't go out until it's searched.”
The incident started about 12.30 this morning, when police tried to stop a car being driven erratically.
The vehicle drove off, losing control and crashed into car park markers. Its driver ran off up a dead-end road and charged into the estuary before asking his pursuers for help.
“9.39-9.50, the person said he was in difficulty,” says Mr Canning. “He tried to get out but he couldn't get out through the mud. He gave the guy advice on taking off his shoes and pants and floating. 9.55-10.01, he saw the driver disappearing into the rain and he thinks he went below the water.”
A search-and-rescue operation was mounted, but strong winds and rain made searching conditions difficult, ruling out a helicopter.
Police don't know if he made it out or perished in an estuary locals never swim in.
Adding to the mystery, the car's registered owner wasn't the driver, but he isn't telling police who may have been at the wheel.
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30/04/2012 7:52:57 p.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
Quote: "Adding to the mystery, the car's registered owner wasn't the driver, but he isn't telling police who may have been at the wheel."I agree with BLUEY. The car owner should be charged for wasting Police time and for aiding a potential criminal who made the decision to make a run from the Police after they witnessed erratic driving. Its simple - Innocent epople have nothing to hide.Again the hard working taxpayer has to fund the Police time, Search and Rescue teams and getting divers over from Christchurch. It would be great if the driver is found alive and both the driver and the dopey car owner were made to pay the full costs of the search.
28/04/2012 7:37:42 p.m.
Dumbass car owner, doesn't he realise the police are obligated to spend tens of thousands of dollars on an exhaustive search for this person's body, if he's not dead just say so and save the NZ taxpayer and the police's time. Can't we throw him in jail for obstruction??? Sick of these idiots wasting my tax payer dollars!!!!
28/04/2012 7:34:15 p.m.
Looks like another Darwin award to bestow.
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