Man smashes cop car with dive cylinder, asks for it back

The smashed windscreen of the police car after a man allegedly threw a dive bottle through it.
The smashed windscreen of the police car after a man allegedly threw a dive bottle through it. Warren Buckland

A MAN who smashed a police patrol car windscreen with a dive cylinder on Sunday appeared in a New Zealand court on Wednesday and asked if he could have his cylinder back.

Richard Tina Keil, 42, a disqualified driver, was pulled over by police about 9.30am on Ellison St in Napier last Sunday.

Police checks found he had not changed the registration of the car he was driving, which was still in the name of the previous owner, who lives in Auckland.

A police summary of the incident said Keil became enraged and began abusing police when they advised him the vehicle would be seized.

According to police Keil then went to the boot of his car and removed a dive cylinder, which controls air suspension at the back of the car.

He then went to stand in front of the police patrol car before raising the canister above his head and threatening "I'll do it".

Keil's actions resulted in the front windscreen shattering and a dent in the bonnet. He was arrested at the scene.

Yesterday he pleaded guilty to wilful damage and driving while prohibited.

He appeared in front of Judge Tony Adeane who convicted and discharged him on the basis he could pay $2280 in reparation, the cost to repair the police car.

Keil told Judge Adeane he was starting a job next week and would be able to pay the $50 a week reparation sought by police.

He then reappeared before the court to advise Judge Adeane he did not in fact have a job lined up and needed to contact his father about setting up the reparation payment.

Judge Adeane said Keil had misinformed the court and sentenced him to seven days' imprisonment.

Judge Adeane advised him he would have access to a phone in prison so that he could sort out his employment and said the original sentence had been imposed based only on the misinformation provided by Keil.

He asked Keil if it was going to be a day where they "play games" with each other and informed him he would be spending longer in jail if he could not sort out reparation.

Topics:  editors picks new zealand offbeat police

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