Wanted man jumps fence
With one hand down his pants, a well-known wanted man skipped fences and a ''swarming'' contingent of police officers in a busy area of Palmerston North this afternoon.
Senior Constable Mark Glentworth said the chase started when police had pulled over a car carrying the wanted man as a passenger on Featherston St west of Central Normal School about 2.30pm.
The man, who police described to nearby residents as Maori with short hair in his 20s, took off on foot from the car and into a Featherston St property between Karamu Ave and Kowhai Ave, while the driver accelerated away from officers.
About 20 unarmed police officers and the dog squad were called to search for the man who skipped fences and was unable to be found.
A Karamu Ave resident, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said she was sitting on the deck with a friend when the man climbed the fence into her property.
''He was just so blase about the whole thing. My friend thought I knew him the way he just casually rocked over the fence. He just said 'hey' to us walked across the lawn and skipped the other fence out the back like nothing was happening.''
The resident said the man's most distinguishing feature was the way he was wearing his clothing.
''He had these big, wide boxer shorts on and he had his hand down his pants like he was stashing something.''
She said police with dogs stormed the backyard less than 10 minutes after the man had been there.
''They told me it sounded like he had been changing his clothing as he was going because he had been wearing a cap and different pants earlier on.''
Another eyewitness, Featherston St resident Kat Nicol, described a scene of police ''swarming'' on the houses opposite her.
Dogs sniffed under houses and found footprints but the man was believed to have escaped.
Mr Glentworth said the man had been wanted for a long period but had already proved elusive when it came to being arrested.
The man was not considered dangerous and was not thought to be carrying weapons, he said.