Damage during AOS call-out angers man

NOT IMPRESSED: Yesterday Arthur Toman returned to his Taneatua home for the first time since the Armed Offenders Squad call-out on Saturday and was not happy to find holes in the windows. Photo Karla Akuhata D7114-09
  •  Resident relieved he wasn’t at home

WALKING through his Taneatua home, looking at what appears to be bullet holes in windows and interior walls, Arthur Toman is relieved he wasn’t home when the Armed Offenders Squad turned up on Saturday.

He said if he was, there was a good chance that he would be dead.

Mr Toman’s house is located in the urban area of Taneatua and on a shared driveway with several houses near to his. He said windows and walls have what looks to be bullet holes, which concerned because he lived in urban Taneatua and neighbours were close by.

“This is just glass and then gib board, what if the bullets went straight through and into next door’s?”
Police said however, they did not discharge any firearms, but used tear gas to gain entry to the house.

Mr Toman said he was also angry at the damage that had been caused to the house and didn’t believe he should have to pay to get it fixed.

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The squad was called out to his house after a police officer alleged that Mr Toman had threatened he would shoot him. But Mr Toman denies making the threat.

Mr Toman said on Friday, he become involved in an argument with a woman, who wanted to read through the texts on his phone, outside the police station, but denies that any violence was involved.

He said two police officers arrived at his address on Saturday, saying they were there for a “friendly chat” about the incident. The gate at the property was locked and Mr Toman said he went to the gate to talk to the officers but declined the request by one of them to step out on to the shared driveway to continue the conversation.

SHATTERED: Windows and walls were damaged and glass was left scattered throughout Arthur Toman’s house in Taneatua. D7114-09

“They said they were there for a friendly chat, but they didn’t look very friendly.”

Mr Toman said while he called his dog to alert, he didn’t threaten to shoot the officer.

“Do I look stupid to you? I wouldn’t have done that. I told them that I have my firearms licence but that was it. I didn’t threaten to shoot them.”

Mr Toman said when the police left the property, he called 111 and spoke to a series of people, who finally put him through to a senior sergeant in Christchurch.

He said he explained his plight to the officer and was told the best thing to do was to contact the Whakatane police station and organise to go in and see them.

Mr Toman was then put through to the acting senior sergeant at the Whakatane police station.

He said he offered to travel in to the station for a chat but was told that someone was already on the way out to get him and he should go into his house and lock the door.

However, Mr Toman said he didn’t feel comfortable waiting for whoever to turn up and left the address.

Four hours after the two policemen had visited Mr Toman, the Armed Offenders Squad was pointing guns into the property.

A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said the squad descended on their house, which is next door to Mr Toman’s, after dark on Saturday and started calling for him to come out.

“It was really loud, and it went on for ages and ages and then all of a sudden they started shooting.”

The neighbour said members of the squad had asked them to leave their property and for information on Mr Toman, but they declined to leave.

“And we are not snitches so we didn’t say anything.”

However, Area Commander Inspector Kevin Taylor said: “Police were responding in relation to a family harm complaint.

“As a result of Mr Toman’s actions when police tried to speak with him, the Armed

Offenders Squad was called to assist local police staff.

“Police did not discharge any firearms, but as a result of a risk assessment we did use tear gas to assist entry to a house.”