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Man Charged With Throwing Stones At Helicopter, Assault

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Daniel Ormsby. Pic: NZPA
Daniel Ormsby. Pic: NZPA

Wellington, July 21 NZPA - A man who allegedly threw rocks at a helicopter was remanded in custody when he appeared in Taupo District Court today.

Daniel Whetu Ormsby, 44, of Tokaanu, was remanded to reappear on Monday after being charged with damage endangering or likely to endanger a helicopter in flight.

He was also charged with assaulting the pilot with stones.

He pleaded not guilty to both charges.

When asked if he had anything to say about the police opposing bail, he addressed the court in te reo, then in English.

He cited the Te Ture Whenua 1993 Act and said he lived by the principles laid out in its preamble.

That legislation outlined how Maori land was to be governed to try to ensure Maori retained ownership, while ensuring it was commercially viable.

The helicopter suffered at least $20,000 worth of damage when hit with rocks while idling near Waihi Village, at the southern end of Lake Taupo yesterday.

Pilot Matt Boulcott made an emergency lift off after the rocks shattered his front window and hit him in the shoulder, TV3 News reported last night.

Mr Boulcott was collecting surveyors monitoring a potential landslide after earthquakes and wet weather in the area.

The man pulled up in a van and started screaming and pelting the helicopter with rocks, Mr Boulcott said.

The attack lasted less than a minute.

The man continued to throw rocks at the helicopter in the air, smashing two windows and narrowly missing the rotor blade.

 

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