Hamilton man stops man fleeing police, video goes viral

Of all the backyards in Hamilton, two alleged criminals made the mistake of hopping into Damion Scarlett’s – and one would end up regretting it.

After the two bubble-busting bandits hopped his fence on Sunday, the boxing coach made light work of the one who didn’t get away, and video of the incident has gone viral.

Scarlett was at home in the Hamilton suburb of Bader at 10.30am on Sunday when he saw a man sprint past his kitchen window.

The fleet-footed intruder made his escape but his mate, noticeably slower, wasn’t far behind.

With his wife, two children and his in-laws on the property, Scarlett rushed to intercept.

He told the Herald that the man had landed in some netting for his mother-in-law’s flowers, considerably slowing his escape.

“He was probably a bit tired after getting into that,” Scarlett said.

“Then he ran into me.”

Video shows Scarlett grabbing the man by his hoodie before unleashing a flurry of uppercut punches.

He said he acted purely on instinct and didn’t give any thought as to whether the man was armed.

Scarlett has been involved with boxing for years, starting with the Mana Tangata gym, and has taken part in corporate fights and coached others in the sweet science.

The hidden star of the video was Scarlett’s 8-year-old daughter who makes a brief appearance holding a plastic dagger.

“The day before she was actually practising her zombie killing,” Scarlett said.

He added that although the video appears to show his father-in-law attempting to get in on the action, it was the older man who told Scarlett that the unfortunate escaper had enough.

“I’ve got too much respect for the man to not listen to him so I stopped,” Scarlett said.

He said there was always something going on in his Bader neighbourhood but the men’s rude intrusion had put a real dampener on his lockdown.

“It was a pain in my a*** really,” Scarlett said, adding that it was “the last thing we needed”.

He was monitoring for Covid symptoms after his close contact with the man but remained healthy.

Scarlett said police were quickly on the scene and took the man into custody.

Asked if he would do it again, Scarlett told the Herald: “For my friends and family, definitely.”

Viral hit

Scarlett said that he initially pulled the video from social media after he was flooded with notifications, but not before it was copied and shared on the popular video platform TikTok, where it attracted thousands of views from around the world.

Users praised Scarlett for stepping up and dealing with the “bottom feeders”
and couldn’t get enough of his daughter’s contribution.

“Moko comes out with the steel haha they teach them young in the mighty Waikato,” one commenter joked.

“Dang, Raphael from Ninja Turtles ain’t playing around,” another said.

A police spokesperson told the Herald that the incident began when officers observed a vehicle of interest that fled from them on Saturday night.

“Police again attempted to stop the vehicle and it again fled from Police,” the spokesperson said.

“Police did not pursue the vehicle and it was seen a short time later in the Bader area.

“Three occupants got out from the vehicle and ran through addresses to avoid Police.

“An occupant at one of these addresses restrained one of the offenders until they were apprehended by Police. A second offender was located and arrested at a nearby address.

“A third offender is still outstanding and Police are conducting further enquiries to locate them.”

The pair appeared in court yesterday where they faced a raft of charges including driving in a dangerous manner, failing to stop, possession of cannabis and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Both were remanded on bail and will appear again on September 16.

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