Kerikeri man thought he would die at hands of teens armed with hammer

A Kerikeri man barely had time to undo his seatbelt before a group of teens allegedly dragged him from his flipped car and set upon him with a hammer.

In an exclusive interview with the Advocate, the 43-year-old spoke about Friday afternoon’s ordeal, and with it his conviction that he was about to die.

“They were wild. They were literally saying, ‘we’re going to kill you’. I actually thought I was going to be killed,” he said.

“They would not stop, they didn’t stop.”

The man had pulled up to the roundabout at the end of Kerikeri Rd and given way to a van – reportedly linked to the Regent Training Centre – heading towards the Kerikeri bypass.

“I pulled out behind them and they started ripping into me,” he said.

He watched as a group of alleged teens – he believed aged 16 to 19 – leaned out of the van windows to pull the fingers and gang signs at him all the while screaming abuse.

Another passenger filmed their antics, he said.

“I wasn’t sure why they were doing that.”

The man was “pretty scared” by the time both vehicles reached Waipapa Rd, off the Twin Discovery Coast Highway.

A professional driver by trade, he waited until a safe stretch of road without any yellow lines was clear of oncoming traffic. He indicated and pulled out to pass the van.

“I thought rather than put up with them abusing me, I’d try and get out of the situation. I was concerned they were going to start throwing things out the window,” he said.

“When I was passing them everything seemed fine other than I was getting abused. The way they were carrying on, I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.”

The man checked his rearview mirror, it was clear. But the next thing he knew the van had allegedly clipped the back corner of his car.

“It rolled me and I ended up on my roof.”

As he tried to get his seatbelt undone, a foot reportedly came through the smashed window and landed a blow to the side of his head.

He said about six passengers from the van, crashed onto its side, converged on him.

“They were trying to get me from everywhere.”

They allegedly kicked and punched him while he sat trapped upside down in the driver’s seat before eventually dragging him from the car.

“Because I was so concussed I didn’t even get a chance to get out of my seatbelt before they started attacking me.

“It was really, really unexpected. Even the van driver was trying to stop them. They were threatening to kill me.”

Once out of the car, and without any warning, he was allegedly struck in the head with a hammer.

“At the same time, they were stomping, kicking, punching me…I would try and sit up and get batted in the face. It was one of the scariest moments in my life.”

He said members of the public attempted to intervene but their efforts were futile as the group continued their alleged attack.

Again while a passenger filmed the ordeal on their phone.

The man’s Adidas jumper and a T-shirt underneath, as well as his track pants, were all ripped off him during the alleged attack.

“There was blood all over my car. They took the keys out of my car and were smashing it up with hammers and kicking it.”

Fortunately, the Kerikeri Volunteer Fire Brigade arrived and one firefighter, in particular, named Andy.

“He protected me until the police turned up. He was amazing.”

He was incredibly grateful to all his rescuers, he said. The Kerikeri St John paramedics, the bystanders who stopped to help, and the brigade.

The man’s bruises “from head to toe” are a physical reminder of Friday’s ordeal that has now left him too afraid to drive.

“They’ve smashed my eye, I’ve got two black eyes at the moment. Lumps along my head where they hit me with a hammer.

“I’ve got bruised ribs and bruises all over my legs where I was kicked and punched,” he said.

“I’m terrified. I already suffer from PTSD [post traumatic stress syndrome] and depression. I won’t be going for any driving jobs ever again.”

The man said other people were currently driving him to places.

“The incident just plays over and over in my head.”

The level of violence was something he had never experienced in all his years living in Kerikeri.

“For something like this to happen here is extremely rare. I’m absolutely shocked. It’s a small community where we all look after each other. But this has impacted me in a big way.”

The Advocate has contacted Kerikeri police for further comment. However, a police spokesperson was able to confirm no arrests had yet been made and the investigation into the alleged assault was ongoing.

The Regent Training Centre in Kerikeri declined to comment.

Source: Read Full Article