Hutt Valley police armed with rifles were unable to track down a violent offender in Wainuiomata today, after the man abandoned his car and fled into the bush.
Police attempted to stop the man's car about 8.40am, which was thought to be involved in earlier offending, but he fled.
After a short pursuit down Coast Rd, the driver stopped and fled the vehicle into bush, Senior Sergeant Steve Braybrook said.
About half a dozen officers and a police dog earlier scoured bush and a nearby river looking for the 32-year-old, but were not able to locate him.
It was not clear whether he was armed, Mr Braybrook said, so police took the precaution of arming themselves.
''It's in response to that same fleeing driver. He is a known violent offender who has access to firearms. And because of that, as a precaution, we ensure we have to options available to us, whatever we might face.''
He was described as a tall, thin European man, wearing a light coloured shirt and dark trousers.
''We know who the offender is. He has a propensity for violence. It's not for the community to be concerned about, but he doesn't want to be caught by police.
''He's gone into bush near the river that runs parallel to Coast Rd. It's a possibility that he's gone for a swim.''
After an extensive search, police were unable to find the man. However, knowing his identity meant they could continue to look for him, Mr Braybrook said, "and enquiries will continue".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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