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New Zealand youths clash with police

Dec. 26, 2012 at 4:09 PM

WAIKATO, New Zealand, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- A police officer in New Zealand was attacked by a drunken mob, the latest in a string of violent episodes directed at police, law enforcement officials said.

Police in Waikato, New Zealand, were called to the scene of an alleged street race Christmas Day and identified a car they believed was involved. The driver fled on foot to a nearby residence where a large party was taking place. As two officers attempted to take the suspect into custody, the party-goers converged. One officer was struck from behind and knocked to the ground as the other managed to get inside the patrol car and call for backup, The New Zealand Herald said.

"This type of behavior is not only cowardly, it is totally unacceptable," police spokesman Paul Carpenter said.

He added police believe they know the man who assaulted the officer and intend to make an arrest.

It was the fifth assault on a police officer in Waikato recently. Another incident had several teenagers arrested following a clash with officers investigating vandalism. One suspect attempted to shock an officer with a Taser. Another swung a brick and at an officer. Five people were arrested in the incident, The Herald said.

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