From the Nelson Mail:
Arrests over race-hate attacks on Asians
By KIRAN CHUG
Monday, 09 June 2008
Nelson police say two “skinheads” have been arrested following two unprovoked racist attacks in the central city, which left the victims terrified and shaken on Sunday.
Senior Constable Phil Wylie of Nelson police said the 23-year-old and 24-year-old Nelson men were both due to appear in the Nelson District Court Monday on a number of charges, following the assaults.
He described the two men, who were arrested Sunday, as skinheads.
Police began searching for two men after a 25-year-old Asian man was allegedly abused and assaulted in the forecourt of Shell Rutherford in Nelson at 11am Sunday.
Mr Wylie said the victim was “going about his business” when he was approached by a man who had got out of his car and allegedly threatened him with a closed fist.
Members of the public tried to step in to help the Asian man, and Mr Wylie said the aggressor was pulled back into his car by a friend.
Another group of three Asian men was approached by two men in a car in the Countdown Nelson supermarket carpark at 6.15pm.
Mr Wylie said a 25-year-old Asian student was walking through the carpark with two friends when they were verbally abused by the occupants of a van.
The driver of the vehicle then allegedly drove the van towards the group and hit the student, throwing him into a wire fence. He got up and ran towards the corner of Vanguard and Hardy Sts, where his friends were also running, but was hit by a bottle of bourbon allegedly thrown at his back.
The attack was witnessed by a member of the public, who told the victims to get into his car. Mr Wylie said one of the offenders got out of the van and started making his way towards the group, but they managed to get into the car and were driven away.
Although the student was not injured in the attack, Mr Wylie said he was terrified and “extremely shaken”.
Mr Wylie said police arrested two men in relation to the assaults after they were involved in a car crash at the Quarantine Rd roundabout at 8.20pm.
He said a 24-year-old was charged with assault with a weapon and intimidation. A 23-year-old was charged with reckless driving, careless driving, disorderly behaviour, driving with excess breath-alcohol, obstructing justice, assault, and assault with a weapon.
Mr Wylie said police did not believe an organised group of skinheads was operating in Nelson.