Thief's dash to freedom leads to community work

FLORENCE KERR
Last updated 05:00 07/07/2014

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A man who tried to outrun the law and lost, has escaped a prison sentence.

Eddie-Jason Tupaea, 24, pleaded guilty to one charge of escaping police custody and another charge of entering a building in Ngaruawahia without authority with the intent to commit an imprisonable offence in the building. Judge Noel Cocurullo sentenced Tupaea to 180 hours' community service and nine months' supervision.

On May 14 this year, Tupaea and his co-accused, Haare Brown were, caught by a police officer taking copper spouting from a house in Ngaruawahia. The pair told the officer they worked for a company, but the company told police they had no knowledge of the pair. The officer placed the two under arrest but they escaped after pushing the officer to the ground. They fled the scene in a vehicle being driven by Brown.

The pair were grounded in Taupiri when, in their attempt to avoid police road spikes, they drove on to a grass verge, bringing their vehicle to an abrupt halt.

Their dash for freedom on foot came to an end when one of the pair was tackled by a member of the public, and a police dog and handler found the other man 10 minutes later.

Tupaea's co-accused, Brown, will appear in the Auckland District Court today on charges relating to the incident.

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- Waikato Times

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