Drunken rampage through Te Araroa

Gisborne Courthouse. File picture by Rebecca Grunwell

AN intoxicated 21-year-old drove dangerously around Te Araroa, aimed his car at two cyclists, who had to leap out of the way, and forced another driver to mount a kerb to avoid being hit.

The young son of the other driver was screaming in fear in the passenger seat, Ruatoria District Court was told.

Johannes James Akapita-Wanoa, 21, pleaded guilty to driving with excess blood-alcohol (219 milligrams) — more than four times the legal limit — dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and wilful damage (of a police cell).

He was sentenced by Judge Haamiora Raumati to nine months supervision and 200 hours community work. He was ordered to make reparation of $1466 for the wilful damage, to pay medical and analyst’s fees of $229 and was disqualified from driving for a total of 12 months (half of which was a cumulative period imposed for the dangerous driving).

Court costs of $130 were also imposed.

Summarising what occurred, Judge Raumati said the charges related to events on August 13 of last year.

Police, responding to a revving engine at the local rugby club, found Akapita-Wanoa doing donuts on the pitch.

With tyres screeching, honking his horn, and yelling abuse, he drove through a 50kmh area in the town at speeds of up to 100kmh.

He turned donuts again at an intersection.

When he noticed two cyclists watching him, he drove at them, and they had to jump a fence to get away.

Still speeding, Akapita-Wanoa drove on the wrong side of the road into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

The driver swerved on to a grass verge. Her young son in the passenger seat becaame upset and was traumatised.

Police tried to stop Akapita-Wanoa but he continued driving in darkness with no headlights.

He almost lost control of the car in the grounds of a kindergarten.

Akapita-Wanoa stopped the car and ran off. When police caught up to him, he was aggressive and abusive.

He repeatedly refused a breath test and became angrier when told he would have to give a blood specimen.

In a holding cell, he flailed about, chanting gang slogans, then kicked the door open, breaking its lock and jams.

He was finally blood-tested at Te Puia Hospital, returning the extremely high reading.

When asked for an explanation, Akapita-Wanoa was again abusive and aggressive, showed no remorse and tried to spit on police.

Judge Raumati said the incident put the public at risk and caused difficulties for police trying to do their jobs.

But Akapita-Wanoa, a first offender, had acknowledged that and shown insight when interviewed for a pre-sentence report.

He was young and pleaded guilty early, hence the rehabilitative focus recommended for the sentence, was appropriate.

AN intoxicated 21-year-old drove dangerously around Te Araroa, aimed his car at two cyclists, who had to leap out of the way, and forced another driver to mount a kerb to avoid being hit.

The young son of the other driver was screaming in fear in the passenger seat, Ruatoria District Court was told.

Johannes James Akapita-Wanoa, 21, pleaded guilty to driving with excess blood-alcohol (219 milligrams) — more than four times the legal limit — dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and wilful damage (of a police cell).

He was sentenced by Judge Haamiora Raumati to nine months supervision and 200 hours community work. He was ordered to make reparation of $1466 for the wilful damage, to pay medical and analyst’s fees of $229 and was disqualified from driving for a total of 12 months (half of which was a cumulative period imposed for the dangerous driving).

Court costs of $130 were also imposed.

Summarising what occurred, Judge Raumati said the charges related to events on August 13 of last year.

Police, responding to a revving engine at the local rugby club, found Akapita-Wanoa doing donuts on the pitch.

With tyres screeching, honking his horn, and yelling abuse, he drove through a 50kmh area in the town at speeds of up to 100kmh.

He turned donuts again at an intersection.

When he noticed two cyclists watching him, he drove at them, and they had to jump a fence to get away.

Still speeding, Akapita-Wanoa drove on the wrong side of the road into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

The driver swerved on to a grass verge. Her young son in the passenger seat becaame upset and was traumatised.

Police tried to stop Akapita-Wanoa but he continued driving in darkness with no headlights.

He almost lost control of the car in the grounds of a kindergarten.

Akapita-Wanoa stopped the car and ran off. When police caught up to him, he was aggressive and abusive.

He repeatedly refused a breath test and became angrier when told he would have to give a blood specimen.

In a holding cell, he flailed about, chanting gang slogans, then kicked the door open, breaking its lock and jams.

He was finally blood-tested at Te Puia Hospital, returning the extremely high reading.

When asked for an explanation, Akapita-Wanoa was again abusive and aggressive, showed no remorse and tried to spit on police.

Judge Raumati said the incident put the public at risk and caused difficulties for police trying to do their jobs.

But Akapita-Wanoa, a first offender, had acknowledged that and shown insight when interviewed for a pre-sentence report.

He was young and pleaded guilty early, hence the rehabilitative focus recommended for the sentence, was appropriate.

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