Two alleged gang members, aged 21 and 19, have been apprehended following an intense pursuit in Palmerston North. They are accused of putting the lives of police officers at risk by using a stolen vehicle and engaging in further acts of aggression throughout the chase.
On Monday evening, law enforcement discovered the suspects in a stolen vehicle on Maxwells Line in Roslyn. When officers attempted to stop them, they encountered resistance. “A police dog unit indicated for the vehicle to stop, and the offenders attempted to ram the vehicle,” Central District Command Centre Senior Sergeant Matt Prendergast said in a statement.
The situation escalated as the suspects reportedly started hurling metal car parts from their vehicle towards the pursuing officers.
Despite the police deploying a device to deflate the tires on Tremaine Avenue, the suspects persisted and managed to drive their vehicle onto the premises of a nearby hospital.
After the stolen vehicle finally came to a stop, the suspects attempted to evade arrest. One of them was apprehended in the hospital car park, while the other was located shortly afterward.
Senior Sergeant Prendergast revealed that the stolen vehicle contained a sawn-off shotgun, a significant quantity of ammunition, and a stash of cannabis. The 21-year-old, believed to have been behind the wheel, is facing charges that include evading police, reckless driving, and operating a vehicle with a suspended license.
As for the 19-year-old suspect, who was identified as the passenger during the pursuit, they are being charged with assault, possession of a dangerous weapon, and illegal possession of ammunition, among other offenses.
Law enforcement authorities maintain a strict stance against such criminal activities and reaffirm their dedication to holding accountable those involved in such offenses. “Police continue to have no tolerance for this sort of offending, and we will use all measures available to us to hold those committing this type of offending to account,” added Senior Sergeant Prendergast.
Both suspects are scheduled to appear before the Palmerston North District Court on Tuesday.