Kiwi racing star Graham McRae, who competed in F1, F5000 and the Indianapolis 500, was hospitalized on September 2, after a bizarre three-hour standoff with Auckland police. According to Auckland area newspaper and television reports, police were called to an industrial complex in response to reports a man had threatened neighbors with a crossbow. The incident apparently began when a rock band that rents space near McRae’s workshop returned to their practice rooms to find thousands of dollars’ worth of instruments and equipment had been destroyed. When they approached McRae to ask what might have happened, he reportedly threatened them with a crossbow.
After McRae barricaded himself in his workshop, police attempted to convince McRae to give himself up. However, after three unsuccessful hours of negotiation, the Auckland police’s Armed Offenders Squad fired tear gas into the building and stormed the workshop with police dogs. McRae was subsequently subdued, though he suffered dog bites which needed medical treatment.
A family member of McRae’s was later quoted as saying that McRae has suffered from paranoid delusions for the past 6 years, which require medication. The Auckland police have said that they will decide whether to charge McRae after the results of a psychiatric examination.