A French tourist was stabbed and punched in his car on Monday night by a man he had given a lift to.
The ensuing struggle resulted in the tourist's car leaving the road and crashing into a house in Ranfurly Street.
The circumstances of the crash came out as part of a police investigation into the incident.
The grey Nissan X-Trail caused significant damage to part of the house.
“Our inquiries have established that the car was being driven by a 32-year-old French national, who had been visiting Gisborne at the time,” said Detective Sergeant Wayne Beattie.
“The Frenchman has been touring New Zealand, living in his vehicle and picking up casual work to fund his trip.”
Det Sgt Beattie said at about 8.30pm on Monday the tourist was parked outside Jetts gym on Gladstone Road when he was approached by a man he described as a fair-skinned Maori, who was on a skateboard.
“That person asked the tourist if he could give him a ride to a Kaiti address.
“The visitor has very little comprehension of the English language but he eventually agreed to give the man a ride.”
Det Sgt Beattie said once in the car the tourist was given instructions on which way to go.
“They ended up driving to Midway Beach and eventually finished up driving to numerous locations in the Kaiti area.
“The tourist was instructed to stop at several addresses in the Kaiti area but was then advised by the local male that he needed to go a different address.
“Eventually the tourist took the man to an address in Kaiti where he thought he was going to drop the man off,” Det Sgt Beattie said.
“Once they had stopped at the side of the road the offender produced a pair of scissors and threatened the tourist.
“He demanded the tourist get out so that he could take the vehicle.
“All the tourist's possessions were in that vehicle so he refused to comply.”
A struggle ensued, which resulted in the tourist being stabbed several times with the scissors and punched multiple times to the head.
“In an effort to escape, the tourist accelerated down the road, trying to drive and defend himself at the same time.
“The vehicle accelerated to a speed of about 70kmh before it crashed into the side of the home in Ranfurly Street.”
Det Sgt Beattie said the offender managed to get out of the vehicle and ran off down the road, leaving the tourist trapped in his car.
“Witnesses at the scene saw the offender run off down Cambridge Terrace.”
He was described as a fair-skinned male Maori, about 182 centimetres tall, with short brown hair and clean shaven.
“Witnesses describe the offender as having a limp as he ran off, possibly as a result of being injured in the crash.
“He did not appear to be wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and he hit the windscreen,” said Det Sgt Beattie.
The tourist was admitted to hospital after the crash and required surgery to his arm and hand in an effort to repair nerve and tendon damage.
“He has also had to have specialist surgery to repair a laceration across the corner of his eye.
“His working holiday plans have now been put in jeopardy because he no longer has a vehicle and as a result of his injuries, he is unable to work.
“We are still trying to identify the offender,” Det Sgt Beattie said.
Information can be provided to him at Gisborne police, or by using the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.