Local connection for arrested fugitive
On August 28 a large police presence barricaded the Kaiwaka-Mangawhai entrance to Brown Road, Hakaru, for four hours while a property of known associates of armed fugitive Joshua Kite was searched and the occupants questioned.
Police were also seen talking with two men in an unmarked police car.
“Acting on given information police checked the address of interest and cleared it as Kite wasn’t there,” Mangwhai Senior Constable Graham Gough says.
A police helicopter circled the surrounding lands of Brown and Tara Roads for several hours. Police dogs, Kaiwaka’s Volunteer Fire Brigade and St John ambulance were also present at the blockade.
Around 6.30pm a number of loud bangs were reportedly heard echoing out from the cordoned-off country road, which was most likely to be tear gas Gough says.
The police action follows several events and a trail of abandoned stolen cars that began in the early hours of August 26.
After Whangarei police attempted to pull his vehicle over, Kite gave a short pursuit but crashed minutes later.
He then fired a shot at the two unarmed police officers before fleeing the scene in the unmarked police car, ditching the vehicle in Raumanga Valley before signaling down and hijacking another car, leaving the two occupants on the side of the road.
Kite was next seen by police on Highway 12, Maungaturoto, who cordoned off an area after finding the abandoned vehicle on Bickerstaffe Road.
The two Whangarei officers who first encountered Kite are receiving support from their colleagues and are now back at work.
Finally though, fugitive Joshua Kite’s life on the run has come to an end.
The 33-year-old Northland man was arrested without incident after police issued search warrants in Manurewa on the afternoon of September 1.
Earlier in the day of Kite’s arrest, his friends and estranged partner pleaded with Kite through social media to hand himself in, for his family’s sake and before anyone got hurt.
Kite was held in Manukau Police Station overnight and appeared in Manukau District court on September 2nd. He has been charged with three counts of using a firearm against police, two counts of kidnapping, impersonating a police officer and two counts of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.
Further charges against Kite are also likely including a parole recall warrant.
Kite’s six day flight from police began after he allegedly shot at Whangarei police in the early hours of August 26.
Despite a number of cordons and search warrants executed around the Kaipara area, Kite, who has spent time in prison for aggravated robbery, managed to elude police using ‘extensive criminal contacts’ throughout the Northland and Auckland districts.
Police also arrested a 25-year-old woman last weekend for aiding Kite in avoiding capture.
Police would like to extend their thanks to members of the public who gave assistance during the ongoing investigation.
SUSPECT: Police barricade the entrance to Brown Road, Hakaru, as the search for Joshua Kite continues.
– PHOTO/Julia Wade