Northland Police acknowledge sentencing in Police dog attack case

Northland Police acknowledge the sentencing of Adam Tipene in the Whangārei District Court today following an attack on a Police dog in December 2018.

The 32-year-old was convicted on charges relating to aggravated burglary, injuring a Police dog, unlawfully interfering with a vehicle and obstructing Police.

He has received a prison sentence of five years and three months.

Constable Joshua Van der Kwaak and Police Dog Caesar were in the Parua Bay area early on December 22, 2018 making enquiries into a vehicle that had failed to stop for Police.

While in the area, they were called to a report of homeowners being threatened in their home nearby by a man with a knife.

Constable Van der Kwaak and Caesar were first on scene and moved quickly to apprehend the offender, but during this time Tipene stabbed Caesar twice in the head, narrowly missing his eye.

Another officer arrived on scene shortly after and they managed to arrest Tipene. Officers at the scene were assisted by a member of the public.

Northland District Commander Superintendent Tony Hill says staff attending the incident showed courage and professionalism in a challenging and dangerous situation.

“Our Police offers are often called to situations that are volatile and fast-moving. This case was no exception with members of the public being threatened in their own home with a knife.

“It is fortunate that neither Constable van Der Kwaak nor Caesar were critically or fatally wounded that night. The efforts of Josh and his dog on that night were very admirable.

“For a time it was touch-and-go for Caesar, but thankfully he made a fully recovery and he and his handler have gone on to attend more than 500 emergency jobs in the Northland District since then.”

Superintendent Hill says the messages of support from the Northland community and wider public following the incident were gratefully received.

“I must acknowledge the victims in this matter who assisted Constable Van der Kwaak and Caesar after the incident.

“The outstanding work by the veterinarian, who assisted Caesar with his injuries after the attack, must also be recognised.”

Constable Van der Kwaak was awarded a District Commanders Commendation last year for his efforts in responding to the incident.

Earlier this year, the pair were also awarded the Erridge Cup, given to the New Zealand Police Dog Section’s best rookie handler and dog in their first operational year of duty.

The member of the public and another Police officer that assisted after the stabbing were also recognised with a District Commander’s commendation last year.

/NZ Police Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.