Northland Police have arrested and charged a 40 year-old local man, following an attack on a young woman early this morning.
The victim, aged in her early twenties, was jogging around the Hatea Loop at around 6.30am this morning. She was attacked and dragged to a vehicle, taken to an address and viciously assaulted. The accused then drove to central Whangarei and left the injured and traumatised woman on the street.
A member of the public came to her aid and called emergency services just before 7.30am.
A large number of Police were immediately deployed, including frontline Police officers, dog patrols and CIB members. The victim was taken to hospital and is now in a serious but stable condition.
At 12.47 pm, Police officers stopped a car that matched a description of the vehicle of interest. The driver was taken back to the Whangarei Police Station and the car was seized for forensic examination.
A residential Whangarei address will also undergo a forensic scene examination by Police and ESR tomorrow.
The 40 year-old man has been interviewed by Police over the past few hours. He will remain in Police custody overnight and will appear in the Whangarei District Court tomorrow morning charged with the following;
-Wounding with intent to injure
“This is a terrible crime and our thoughts are tonight with the victim. She is being supported by family members, Police and Victim Support” says Inspector Justin Rogers, Area Commander, Northland Police.
“I know the community will be shocked and angered by this however I would like to reassure everyone that we have caught the person alleged to have done this, he is in custody and we are not looking for anyone else. We have put every resource available to us into this case from early this morning and I hope this arrest will bring some degree of comfort to the residents of Whangarei” he says.
Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen a Blue Nissan Serena people-mover with tinted windows and silver trim below the door line in the Whangarei area, particularly around the Hatea Loop area, in the days leading up to this attack.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Whangarei CIB on 09 430 4500.
The matter is now before the courts and though we appreciate that there will be a high level of public interest, so that the court process is not prejudiced, Police will not be making any further comment on the case at this time.
Beth Bates/NZ Police
Media: An audio file of this statement will be shortly made available. Please text Beth Bates for a copy.