Alf is a bit more enlightened about goings-on in Wellington’s Courtenay Place this afternoon, as he catches up with the day’s news.
He had engaged yesterday in a shabby guessing game instigated by the NZ Herald when it published an item under the heading Former National MP suspect in bank assault
Headlines like that will always tease Alf into reading the fine print, to find out who dunnit.
In this case, the Herald was scandalously unhelpful, saying only that –
A former National MP allegedly punched another customer in the face as shocked tellers looked on at an inner-city Wellington bank after an argument over a parking space.
Wellington police yesterday confirmed receiving a complaint from a man alleging he had been assaulted by another man on Monday last week in Courtenay Place. They said the incident was still under investigation.
There was a bit more detail.
But the all-important detail – the name of the former National MP – was missing.
This opened things up to guesswork.
As we Nats know, Gerry can put his bulk to good use in a physical way when it matters, but he is not a former National MP, and furthermore, so far as Alf knows, he only gets a bit heavy with greenies who might try to disrupt things or attract TV attention at National Party conferences, which is thoroughly excusable.
On reading his Dom-Post this morning, Alf was able to wipe one name off his list of possibilities.
The on-line report has been updated since then (hence there’s no point in giving you the URL) but at the time it echoed the print version, saying –
Former National Party MP Paul Quinn has said he is not the man involved in an alleged assault in a Wellington bank.
The Dom-Post report suggested police were obtaining CCTV footage of the incident, which allegedly took place on Monday last week after an argument over a parking space.
It also said –
The unnamed man said it began when he took a parking space outside the bank that the former MP wanted to use.
Say that again.
It began when he took a parking space the former MP wanted to use.
This was inviting some sort of contretemps, surely.
In those circumstances, Alf is sure, lots of motorists would empathise.
But Quinn wasn’t putting his hand up.
When asked yesterday if he had been in an altercation in a Westpac branch, former list MP Quinn replied: “No, I don’t know anything about that.”
He also said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about” when asked if he had been in a Westpac branch on the day in question.
So Mrs Grumble was instructed to draft a list of names of possible suspects.
She was hard at work when Alf got around to reading a TV3 report.
Ah, the plot (as they say) had thickened.
Former National Party MP Paul Quinn says he did not punch a fellow motorist following a car-parking squabble in central Wellington.
Yep. We knew that.
We also knew words had been exchanged before the ex-politician went to the other bloke’s car and allegedly tried to close the door on his legs, and we knew both men then went inside the Westpac bank on Courtenay Place where they again exchanged words before the former MP allegedly punched the other man in the face.
But the TV3 report did bring Quinn into the frame.
Mr Quinn told NZ Newswire they had an exchange after the man cut him off as he tried to park in Courtenay Place.
Mr Quinn said the man followed him into the bank as he went about his business.
“He claims I punched him. That’s not true at all.”
So he was not denying being there.
He was denying punching the other bloke.
Dunno if the Herald applied illegal questioning techniques.
But this morning they were reporting –
Former National Party MP and top level rugby player Paul Quinn has confirmed he was involved in the alleged assault of a man in an inner city Wellington bank last week which followed an argument over a parking space.
After yesterday denying he knew anything about the incident, Mr Quinn today issued a statement.
“I can confirm that I was involved in a disagreement at a bank in Courtenay Place last week. While there have been media reports that the Police are looking into the matter they have not been in contact with me at any stage. In my view the disagreement was a minor one and ended there. I will not be making any further comment.”
Fair to say, the Fairfax mob have caught up with things too.
LATEST: Former National Party MP Paul Quinn has confirmed he was involved in a disagreement at a Wellington bank last week.
In this report, Quinn elaborates on the argument over a parking space.
Quinn said the man cut across the road and into the carpark.
“He was dangerous driving. He could have swiped my vehicle. He had no concern for the road rules or for the safety of myself or the vehicle,” Quinn said.
“I left him at the car and went into the bank and he followed me in and confronted me. He claims I punched him – I did not punch him.”
Quinn would not detail the events that unfolded inside the bank because “police are investigating. I don’t want to prejudice any inquiry”.
“If he pursues the matter I will vigorously defend it.”
It looks like Quinn is getting bad PR advice.
Not only is Alf confident he would be well supported by most motorists, if he can unequivocally demonstrate the other bugger somehow nicked his parking space.
He would be nominated for a knighthood, too.
Perhaps the knighthood that poor old Doug is being asked to surrender.