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Alleged tourist robber appears in court

Wednesday 6 Mar 2013 6:03 p.m.

The scene of the crash

The scene of the crash

One of the men involved in a high-speed police pursuit which left a police officer injured and saw one offender choke a police dog has today appeared in court.

John Koteka is charged with using a rifle to rob tourists on Mount Eden, as well as stealing a rental car, setting fire to that car and receiving stolen property.

He appeared in the Auckland District Court today via video link from prison, and will reappear later this month.

Koteka and co-accused Alex Tereora are alleged to have committed the robberies, and when they were spotted driving erratically in Hamilton last week police were dispatched.

This lead to a chase with their vehicle reaching 180km/h – and police abandoning the pursuit – but the car hit road spikes and crashed.

Both occupants were injured, but Tereora escaped and was chased by a police dog and two officers. He assaulted one officer in a trucking yard before fleeing again with the canine still in pursuit.

He was located by the dog’s handler, and was in the act of choking the dog when the officer fired a warning shot, prompting Tereora to flee again.

He was apprehended by the handler and dog, Loui.

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