Police are appealing for sightings of a dangerous man who was granted bail in court yesterday to attend his son's funeral and has now disappeared.
Joseph Tira Rangi, 30, yesterday pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court to a charge of wounding with intent after he punched his girlfriend in the face 12 times and bit her cheek so hard the skin was left flapping.
Rangi was remanded in custody until next month for sentencing, but Judge Heather Simpson granted him bail for the day yesterday to attend the funeral of his 15-year-old son Legeon, who died in Hawke's Bay Hospital this month.
Rangi was bailed into the custody of a local minister. He was required to return to Hawke's Bay Prison at 5pm yesterday but failed to do so. Police now have a warrant for his arrest.
Detective Sergeant Darren Pritchard said Rangi was dangerous and the public should not approach him.
"We have been searching various properties in the area looking for him, including Wanganui where he has family connections. We would urge anyone who sees this man to notify police immediately and not to approach him," Mr Pritchard said.
Rangi is described as a male Maori, 1.79m tall, of medium to solid build. He has short black hair, has a distinctive mole on the right side of his chin and may have a short beard.
Police also have concerns for the safety of Rangi's victim, who police have not been able to contact.
Anyone with information about Rangi should contact their nearest police station immediately. Alternatively, information can be left anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.
- New Zealand Police