A man's finger was cut off in the spokes of a motorbike while he attempted to tackle an alleged bike thief.
The 22-year-old Masterton man lost his middle finger and a tooth, and received other injuries, while tackling a teenager riding his stolen bike on Tuesday, police said.
The severed finger was not recovered, and the man had surgery at Wairarapa Hospital yesterday afternoon.
Police said the man had noticed his 125cc Lifan Pit Bike missing from his South Belt address on Tuesday afternoon.
He went to Queen Elizabeth Park about 4.30pm, where he spotted a young man he knew riding it near the BMX track, Masterton police Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watson said.
"He went to tackle him and got his finger caught in the spoke - he lost the finger and a tooth in the process amongst other injuries," she said.
The alleged thief then crashed the dirt bike and fled the scene, running through the river, and was tracked down shortly after by police dogs at Henley Lake.
Masterton man Jason Dean Hart, 17, appeared in Masterton District Court yesterday charged with unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, and Ms Watson said other charges were likely after further inquiries were made.
Hart was remanded until October 8 without plea, released on bail with a 24-hour curfew.
A hospital spokesperson said late yesterday that the injured man had come out of surgery and was in a satisfactory condition.