Mobster's leg slashed in Black Power attack

Ben Tihi appeared in the Rotorua District Court in April. Photo / Andrew Warner.

A Mongrel Mob member nearly bled to death after rival gang associates attacked him in Rotorua, slicing his leg to the bone and ripping off his red shoes, court documents show.

They say it was not known when the Mongrel Mob member would be able to walk again after the late-afternoon incident more than seven months ago.

Details of the attack have been revealed after Black Power member Ben Tihi admitted his role in the violent assault.

Tihi, 29, a patched member of the Black Power Outbackz organised crime group, has appeared in the Rotorua District Court and pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

There have been incidents between the Mongrel Mob and Black Power gangs in Rotorua during the past year. Photo / NZME.

A police summary of facts released to the Rotorua Daily Post says the Mongrel Mob man left a house on Puriri Cres about 4.50pm on October 11 and walked to Manuka Cres, heading towards Old Taupo Rd.

While he was on Manuka Cres, two cars turned in to the street from Old Taupo Rd and slowly approached, stopping just short of him, the summary says.

It says Tihi and his associates allegedly got out of the cars and “relentlessly pursued” the Mongrel Mob man as he tried to run to safety towards Old Taupo Rd.

One of the cars allegedly sped on to the kerb as the Mongrel Mob man sought refuge at a house on Old Taupo Rd.

The summary says he was fearing for his safety and pleaded with the occupant at the house to call the police.

The Black Power associates allegedly followed the man on to the property and began violently assaulting him as he lay defenceless on the ground.

The summary says he was struck with numerous blows to the head and his leg was cut severely to his Achilles tendon, severing it to the bone. His other ankle was sliced with an unknown sharp weapon.

Tihi and his associates stripped the man of his red shoes before returning to the two cars waiting on the side of the road and driving off, according to the summary.

The victim suffered severe blood loss. The summary says that, if first responders had not applied tourniquets to stop extreme blood flow, he would have bled to death.

The man has had several surgeries to repair the damage to his ankle. He was expected to walk again but it was not known at the time of writing the summary when that might occur.

Tihi faces a maximum of 14 years’ imprisonment when he reappears in the Rotorua District Court on June 21 for sentencing.

Another man, Patrick Taipeti, has also been charged. He has pleaded not guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and will reappear in the Rotorua District Court on August 7 for a case review hearing.

Other recent gang-linked incidents

The attack came just over three weeks after a shooting between the rival gangs about 650 metres away at the Westend shops on the corner of Malfroy and Old Taupo Rds.

In that incident, a 19-year-old, who cannot be named due to an interim suppression order, was in a vehicle with a fellow Black Power associate when he pulled a hood over his head and a scarf over his face, leaned out of the front passenger window and fired five shots at two carloads of Mongrel Mob gang members in front of him at the traffic lights.

A Black Power associate fired shots at utes containing Mongrel Mob members outside the Westend shops in Rotorua. Photos / NZME.

One of the bullets shattered the rear window of a ute carrying Mongrel Mob members while another bullet travelled through the open window of a member of the public’s car, waiting at the traffic lights.

The bullet lodged in the car’s interior lining. No one was hurt.

The teen and a co-offender have pleaded guilty to charges of unlawfully carrying a firearm and discharging a firearm and will be sentenced on May 24 in the Rotorua District Court.

Also last year, there was a dangerous car chase involving members of both gangs on Te Ngae Rd on June 3 just before 6pm that ended in a series of crashes at the intersection at Tarawera Rd.

Daryll Lay and five other Mongrel Mob members were in this ute chasing a carload of Black Power members when it crashed into a member of the public's car at the Te Ngae Rd and Tarawera Rd intersection. Photo / Supplied.

A Rotorua District Court judge described it as “wanton lawlessness”.

The chase started after a carload of Mongrel Mob gang members chased a carload of Black Power members after one had stolen their gang patch.

Daryll Lay, from the Mongrel Mob, and Wharekite Te Runa, from Black Power, were charged with three counts of reckless driving causing injury after a car carrying three innocent people was hit.

Lay was jailed for 19 months and Te Runa will be sentenced on May 28.

Three members of the public inside this car were seriously hurt when two cars containing rival gang members ploughed through a red light and smashed into them. Photo / Supplied.

Rotorua police were given special search powers targeting gang members for 10 days under Government legislation in March after two incidents in the eastern suburbs of Rotorua.

Three people were charged after an alleged gang-related stabbing on March 8 at a Te Ngae Rd roundabout.

Police comb Te Ngae Shopping Centre in March looking for clues after a man was shot. Photo / Andrew Warner.

A 24-year-old man was shot in the leg at night on March 11 at Te Ngae Shopping Centre. No one has yet been charged.

The special search powers were part of an amendment to the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 brought in by Labour last year to seize weapons during times of gang conflict.

Police says the searches of gang properties and cars worked well to calm gang conflict.

Kelly Makiha is a senior journalist who has reported for the Rotorua Daily Post for more than 25 years, covering mainly police, court, human interest and social issues.

-Rotorua Daily Post

You may also like....


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment.