The terrifying moments that an avocado thief rammed a police car and narrowly missed two officers was captured on CCTV footage.
The incident, caught on a security camera at an orchard near Gisborne, was the genesis of a dangerous rampage by a 19-year-old man involving arson, road spikes, dangerous driving and assaults over several hours and 130 kilometres.
The spree, which began with the theft of the avocados, resulted in Dorian Reedy receiving a jail sentence of two years and eight months.
It all began at about 5.15am on November 10 last year, when Reedy drove a mate’s Honda Odyssey onto an avocado orchard at Mataraka, Gisborne.
Reedy’s mate began filling the car up with avocados before the orchard owner, who was woken by a sensor alarm, called police. Two constables arrived and parked their car in front of the Odyssey, blocking it in.
Reedy’s mate scarpered by foot and was arrested a few kilometres away.
When one of the constables approached the Odyssey Reedy drove directly at her. He narrowly missed hitting her before colliding with the police car then speeding towards the other officer, who had to jump into a drain to avoid being hit.
Reedy drove at speed toward Gisborne, with the officers pursuing him in their car. Reedy drove on the wrong side of the road toward oncoming traffic and the officers abandoned the pursuit.
He drove along SH2 toward the township of Ormond, about 20km inland of Gisborne. His driving was so dangerous that a couple called police and began following him and filming him as he continued to speed and swerve onto the wrong side of the road. It was still dark and he did not have his lights on.
Rubber began coming off one of the Odyssey’s tyres and Reedy stopped the car in his lane then got out.
The couple, who stopped 50metres behind him, noticed a flame in the Odyssey’s dashboard. They saw Reedy open a wallet and throw items into the fire, which then consumed the car.
Traffic banked up in both directions. Reedy approached the couple’s car and calmly asked if police were coming. They told him they were. Reedy then walked up to a brand new Great Wall ute that had been left with its keys in the ignition after its driver had gone to see if he could help at the car fire.
Reedy sped off in the ute towards Ōpōtiki so the couple continued to follow him. They continued filming him and called police to update them on their location.
Reedy pulled over as the road entered the Waioeka Gorge. As the couple passed he pulled out and began following them. He was driving erratically so they sped to get away. They pulled into a campsite and intended to call police for help but then Reedy drove into the campsite too.
Reedy stopped the ute in front of the couple’s car, pulled clothing over his face so only his eyes were showing and then rammed into the front of their car. The collision was so powerful it bent the bull bars on the couple’s car.
Then Reedy drove away. The couple waited a while then left the campsite. But he had parked his car alongside the highway and he started chasing them again at speed.
When they pulled over near a house he pulled up alongside them, wound down the passenger’s window and started hurling rocks at their car.
They took off again and were able to speed away from Reedy. They passed a police car coming the other way and stopped and told the officer what had happened.
A short time later Reedy was seen driving back towards Gisborne. Police followed and tried to pull him over by flashing their lights and sounding their siren.
Reedy began driving on the wrong side of the road directly at oncoming traffic and pulling into the correct lane at the last moment. Due to his driving police abandoned the pursuit.
Road spikes were deployed in two occasions. The car tyres were blown both times but Reedy continued driving.
Reedy drove on the wheel rims at speeds of up to 90kmh and again drove in the wrong lane. When a police car pulled in front of the Reedy he rammed it.
He hit it so hard his bonnet popped open meaning he couldn’t see through the windscreen.
So he leant out the drivers window and continued driving, while yelling Black Power gang slogans and swearing at police.
Eventually police were able to use their vehicle to force Reedy to stop.
When asked to explain his actions Reedy told police he couldn’t remember anything because he blacked out.
Reedy appeared in Gisborne District Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges of burglary, reckless driving, three charges of failing to stop for police, arson, and five charges of assault with a weapon.
Judge Warren Cathcart sentenced him to two years and eight months and disqualified him from driving for a period of 3 years.
This article was originally published by Stuff.co.nz. Read the original here.
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