Dog attack after police pursuit crash
By 3 News online staff
A police dog has been attacked after a Waikato high-speed police pursuit last night reaching speeds of 180km/h ended in a crash.
Police say the incident was drug-related and the fleeing driver crashed near Tamahere, just outside Hamilton.
A member of the public first alerted police after 10pm to a Holden VX Commodore Clubsport saloon travelling at speed and passing on double yellow lines near Cambridge.
Inspector Marcus Lynam says when police found the car on State Highway 1, the driver refused police directions to pull over. The driver fled at high speed in the direction of Hamilton.
"Because of the offenders' car having reached speeds of 180km/h the pursuit was being reviewed when the car drove over road spikes deployed near the intersection of SH1 and Airport Rd,” says Mr Lynam.
He says it appears the driver tried to evade the spikes, but came off the road and crashed broadside into a line of trees.
"Despite their injuries two men have then fled the car and a police dog has tracked a 31-year-old year man through a number of properties to a trucking company's yard. Locating this man in the cab in an immobilised truck, two police dog handlers and a dog tried to affect an arrest but after assaulting one officer the man has fled.
"The second dog handler has resumed the track with the police dog which has been unleashed at a residential property and run out of sight after the offender. The dog handler has rounded a corner to find the offender choking the dog to the point of unconsciousness and fired a warning shot from his pistol."
Mr Lynam says the shot was used to distract the offender, causing him to release his grip on the dog.
Police say the man was then subdued by two officers with the assistance of the dog, despite “offering extreme resistance”.
The second man, 34, was arrested a short time later with the assistance of the Waikato armed offenders squad and the police helicopter.
Both men are under police guard at Waikato Hospital. The dog will be checked over by a vet later today.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has been notified of the crash.