Attacker missing after funeral bail

Last updated 11:47 07/11/2012
Joseph Tira Rangi
WANTED: Joseph Tira Rangi

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Hawke's Bay

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A dangerous man who was granted bail yesterday to go to his son's funeral has gone missing.

Joseph Tira Rangi, 30, yesterday pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court to a charge of wounding with intent after he punched his girlfriend in the face 12 times and bit her cheek so hard the skin was left flapping.

Rangi was remanded in custody until next month for sentencing, but Judge Heather Simpson granted him bail for the day yesterday to attend the funeral of his 15-year-old son Legeon, who died in Hawke's Bay Hospital this month.

Rangi was bailed into the custody of a local minister. He was required to return to Hawke's Bay Prison at 5pm yesterday but failed to do so. Police now have a warrant for his arrest.

Detective Sergeant Darren Pritchard said Rangi was dangerous and the public should not approach him.

"We have been searching various properties in the area looking for him, including Wanganui where he has family connections. We would urge anyone who sees this man to notify police immediately and not to approach him," Mr Pritchard said.

Rangi is described as a male Maori, 1.79m tall, of medium to solid build.  He has  short black hair, has a distinctive mole on the right side of his chin and may have a short beard.

Police also have concerns for the safety of Rangi's victim, who police have not been able to contact.

Contact Marty Sharpe
Hawke's Bay reporter

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