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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

The Police Eagle helicopter assisted in the tracking and apprehension of a fleeing driver in Christchurch this afternoon.

Police observed a vehicle driving dangerously on Woodham Road in Avondale about 1.30pm.

When the driver failed to stop, a pursuit was initiated but abandoned on Pages Road due to the manner of driving.

Eagle continued to observe the vehicle as it entered the grounds of a local school and circled the area where a number of children were playing.

It then continued on to the Eastgate Mall area before being brought to a stop by a patrol car.

The driver has then fled on foot and gone into a nearby restaurant where he was located and arrested.

The alleged offender, aged 30, is expected to appear in Christchurch District Court tomorrow and is facing a number of charges including failing to stop, reckless driving and driving while disqualified.

“There were no reports of injuries during the incident, however a number of children and staff at the school were understandably shaken,” District Commander Superintendent John Price says.

“Police Youth Aid officers visited the school to provide support and will do so again next week.

“This dangerous use of a vehicle with no consideration for the safety of others could have ended in serious injury or worse.
“Children have the right to be safe and feel safe in their school so this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“Throughout the incident, Eagle was able to monitor the location of the vehicle and direct ground staff to its location.

“The quick response and apprehension of the offender was a direct result of our dedicated staff in the air and on the ground. This helped prevent any further trauma to innocent members of the community.

“It is yet another example of the Air Support Unit’s invaluable contribution in Canterbury District since the Eagle trial launched last month.”


Issued by Police Media Centre