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Tourist attacked

Stabbed and punched before crashing car into Ranfurly Street house.

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.”

Police seeking information to identify attacker

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.

Leave a Reply to Amelia Annette Houkamau Cancel reply

  1. Michelle Lexmond says:

    This breaks my heart! Please if anyone knows anything about the attack please report it! This is a disgusting and gutless attack, we do not want this type of scum in our community! To the French tourist I would like to say, “I am so sorry this has happened to you and wish you a speedy recovery”.

  2. Hineari Nom says:

    Can we please do something to try and help this guy get him some wheels? What can we do Gizzy? We’ve got to show him that the not so nice are well outnumbered by good folk who care. All the best in his recovery.

    1. Amelia Annette Houkamau says:

      Yes I do agree, upsetting. Come on, give yourself up – they will find u.
      Speedy recovery for the French man, and yea that’ll be awesome if our community could help him with some wheels to carry on with his journey 😀 👍 Honestly, so sorry this has happened to you.

  3. Mat Wihapi, Kaitaia says:

    The little hair shop is fundraising for this tourist, enquire with Kim Travers.

  4. Alvarez says:

    Bro, this is not Gisborne – get that scum off the street.

  5. J Natana says:

    People would have known the offender. Come on. Multiple addresses, sure witnesses within those addresses. If he goes down, you’re going too. Dob the offender in. Protect yourself, your whanau and friends. I don’t want this guy on the street. Nuff said.

  6. Renee says:

    The Little Hair Shop has set up a bank account for the tourist. For those who want to contribute, the account number is 02-0636- 0131620-00

  7. Linda says:

    We went to visit the French tourist last night at the hospital. My husband is a French national so we wanted to see how we could help. The French tourist is still in a lot of pain from his injuries and unfortunately he has a long road to recovery. He is such a humble guy who is feeling overwhelmed but very grateful of the kindness that he has been getting from our community. I think he appreciated being able to speak in French to my husband and really expressing his emotions. Not only had Covid-19 put his working holiday on hold, but now this hideous incident has. This poor guy can’t work and he won’t leave NZ until the offender has been caught.

  8. Cynthia says:

    This is terrible. Thanks Kim from The Little Hair Shop, we’ll drop some koha off tomorrow.
    You little egg for what you did, shame on you!!!

  9. Melissa says:

    We need new leaders with morals who will take a stand against rampant drug abuse, disparity of wealth, political corruption and double standards. No one is going to want to visit Gisborne when the leaders keep turning a blind eye to the problems in their own backyard that lead to this kind of horrible violence. This is an abomination. All people, those born and raised Gizzy, local, and foreign visitors need to be treated the same and be able to enjoy what the community has to offer in peace.

  10. Kim de Denne says:

    Christophe Bertille won’t be going back to France, as he is from the Reunion Islands.

  11. Z. Simpson says:

    My Argentinian friends were attacked by a group of people two weeks ago. They managed to escape without getting hurt but they were shaken. They didn’t go to the police since they didn’t know anything about the people. They decided not to stay in Gisborne.
    Another Argentinian said that he felt threatened at Smash Palace when he went for a drink. Nothing happened, just bad looks and a bad vibe. He said he left the place immediately.
    We have a Chinese friend who got verbally abused in front of Countdown.
    A Czech couple looking for accommodation in Gisborne on Facebook had to face the abuse and threats of a local. That was on the Gisborne Rentals page.
    What you are reading is not a one-off event. The hostility is here, and it seems that it is escalating.
    Most immigrants never go to the police, so events are very under-reported.

  12. Jonno says:

    Just sad what happened to this guy.
    But how can you say this is not Gisborne? It happens, we just don’t hear about it all. It’s generally talk around the town. I know a few people who have been attacked.
    Look what also happened to the hit-and-run victims.

  13. Gerry Champion, Belfast, Ireland says:

    I was assaulted and had my jaw broken by some fat Maori guy when I was travelling NZ in Gisborne about three years ago. I was drinking in the Irish bar then he invited me back to have some beers after last call and park my van up on his drive. After getting drunk he assaulted me in the kitchen by blindsiding me, hit my jaw in a cheap shot for no other reason than being drunk. Then he threatened me with a machete because he was upset. I had to get flown by plane to the other side of the North Island to a hospital in New Plymouth to have surgery while my van and car was stuck at a car park in Gisborne by the river. Then I had no money for the bus after leaving hospital and I had to pay fines for my van. I stayed with lovely Maori people in the South Island before it happened, but my trip was tainted by the actions of some gutless, drunk thug. Such a shame.