Man claiming to be a doctor has been charged with assault with a needle
An anti-vaccination campaigner being investigated in Australia and Indonesia has been charged in New Zealand for allegedly assaulting a man with a needle.
Former Queensland cop Christopher Savage, 58, who describes himself as an "oxygen therapist to detox efficiently", is an active campaigner against vaccinations and claims to be able to cure people of illness by injecting them with magnesium.
He surfaced in Hawke's Bay last month when a man was hospitalised after receiving his 'treatment'. It prompted the local District Health Board to contact police and warn people that Savage was not a doctor as he was claiming and they should not take his advice.
Now police are searching for him after he failed to show up at Hastings District Court last week to face a charge of assaulting a man using a needle as a weapon.
Police allege Savage assaulted the man in Napier between April 9 and April 23.
The alleged victim, who did not want to be named, said he had been communicating with Savage online for about four years, but this had involved helping Savage with computer issues.
"I just knew he was an ex-police officer. I was unaware of all this vaccination business."
The man, 46, is a type-1 diabetic and has coeliac disease
"Then all of a sudden last month he appears here in Napier and we got talking face to face. He stayed here a couple of nights," the man said.
"He basically threw out all my food. My sugar levels were out of control. I had no food and no insulin for 3-4 days. I passed out. I was under the instructions of Savage not to have any food because the detox was working away," he said.
"Eventually I ... called an ambulance and police," he said.
The man said he was in great pain and had to spend four days in Hawke's Bay Hospital.
"The whole thing was fake ... basically a miracle situation and I fell for it. He's very good at earning your trust. I was a sucker, but I managed to get out and I'm thankful to be alive," he said.
The man said he had not paid anything for the treatment to date.
Australian media reported earlier this month that Savage, a former Queensland policeman, was also being investigated in Australia and Indonesia.
Savage had denied allegations by a Melbourne woman to Daily Mail Australia, saying the claims were "very one-sided and misleading", and his "IV infusions removed toxicity from the body".
The woman said he made her chew on grass he claimed was wheatgrass to ward off the impact the IV would have on her body and that he filled IVs with tap water in the place of saline, and washed the IV bags in the sink before he dried it in his filthy basin.
Savage is also being investigated by Indonesian authorities after he started up a treatment clinic in Bali, according to News Corp.
The former policeman is an active campaigner against vaccinations and provides regular "updates" to his followers on YouTube.
In one video, he speaks about the Federal Government's 'no jab, no pay' scheme and claims doctors are being "brainwashed" into thinking vaccines are helping.
"In fact they are harming everyone that gets one," Savage said.
"Up to the point of death, that's what vaccines do – cause some people to die – there is no benefit."
Savage could not be contacted for comment.
Hastings detective John Brans said he could not comment as the matter was now before the court but he wanted to hear from anyone who has been in contact with Savage in the past four to six weeks.