The scene on Rocks Rd when Kane Hippolite tried to swim to Haulashore Island to get away from police. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Swimming to evade police was ‘silly’, says judge


A man who jumped into the sea on Rocks Road in an attempt to evade police did so because he panicked and thought he would go to jail.

Kane Cameron Hippolite, 29, pleaded guilty to charges of failing to remain stopped for police and driving while disqualified, in the Nelson District Court on Monday.

The charges relate to an incident on October 3 when Hippolite was driving towards Nelson on Rocks Rd with a passenger who was not wearing a seatbelt.

The police summary of facts says the car was unwarranted, did not have current registration and had been previously ordered off the road because of cracks in the windscreen.

A marked police car that was travelling behind the Toyota Altezza activated its lights in an effort to get the car to pull over, which it did after a couple of hundred metres.

Hippolite immediately got out of the car and, despite a police officer sounding the horn and signalling for him to stand still, went to the footpath of Rocks Rd, climbed the railings and jumped into the ocean.

He then swam the majority of the way to Haulashore Island before being pulled from the water by police search and rescue in co-ordination with the coastguard.

He was arrested once aboard the vessel.

In explanation Hippolite told police he panicked as he feared he was going to jail.

Judge Richard Russell did not enter a conviction as he was expecting an application to be made for Hippolite to serve a community-based detention rather than have further disqualification period imposed.

“It’s a silly thing you did jumping into the sea and trying to swim away from police, you could’ve drowned.

“If you don’t want to be disqualified, the singular worst thing you could do is get in a car and be found driving.”

Hippolite was remanded on bail to appear on January 13.