The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer in Northland was justified in using a Police dog to stop a man trying to avoid arrest.
A man failed to stop at an alcohol checkpoint, requiring an officer to have to take evasive action and jump out of the way of the speeding car. After a short pursuit, the man ran away from his car, and a Police dog handler and dog was called to track the man. The man made significant efforts to evade the officer and dog, covering rough ground and occasionally crossing a creek.
Eventually the man was located but failed to stop when called to by the officer. The dog was released, which bit the man on his arm and enabled his arrest by the officer. The man subsequently required minor treatment in hospital.
After his arrest, the man’s identity was confirmed. He was wanted for arrest for numerous offences, including theft and use of or carrying firearms, and had been on the run from Police for over a year.
“Although the officer tracking the man was unaware of his identity (and therefore that there was a warrant for his arrest) until after he had been detained, the man’s actions by driving dangerously through the alcohol checkpoint were of sufficient seriousness to require his arrest. Although the Police dog caused minor injuries, the use of the dog was justified in these circumstances,” said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.