Hamilton Police investigating an incident in the central city where a teenage boy suffered what appears to be a wound and had petrol poured over him are seeking help from the public in identifying a potential offender caught on CCTV footage.
Detective Sergeant Matt Cranshaw of the Hamilton CIB said CCTV footage was looking like the most reliable source for investigators working to establish what happened.
"Emergency services were called to Garden Place shortly after 6pm after reports of a 14-year-old boy being doused in petrol.
"CCTV footage shows the victim subsequently becoming involved in a fight with one male from a group of three, the footage shows the boy falling and it shows him showing concern to an injury to his arm."
The boy was taken by ambulance to Waikato Hospital where he was decontaminated due to the petrol and he had the wound treated.
"Initial indications are that a group of people were "huffing" in the area where the altercation took place which, while far from acceptable, would go some way to explain why a person was in the central city with petrol that was believed to have been contained in a plastic bag.
"Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of the assault and who saw anything untoward. Investigators will meanwhile be analysing CCTV footage taken in Garden Place and on surrounding streets trying to identify people potentially involved."
Mr Cranshaw said Police urged all parents and caregivers to communicate with their children in relation to what they are up to, where they are going and who they will be with.
"Its not about big brother prying in to what they are doing, its about keeping young people safe, here we have what could have been a very serious incident involving a young person and we need to ensure all steps are taken to keep the centre of Hamilton a safe and family friendly place."
Anyone with any information on last night's incident is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Matt Cranshaw at the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 8586200.
Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with the independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.