New Zealand fugitive charters helicopter from police station
A man who had fled to the New Zealand countryside hired a helicopter to travel to a police station and surrender.
James Bryant, who faces assault charges, spent five weeks apparently in hiding in a small town in North Otago.
He told local media that his time had been “wonderful”, but that he was ready to leave “the middle of nowhere”.
Prisoners’ attorney Arthur Taylor, who organized the peaceful arrest, said he took Bryant to pick up champagne and oysters on his way to the station.
Taylor, a former high-level inmate currently on parole, told reporters outside Dunedin Central Police Station: “It was his first decent meal in weeks.”
The counts Mr. Bryant faces include assault with a weapon, injuries with intent to injure and three counts of publishing harmful digital communications.
Police had warned the public that he was considered dangerous and should not be approached.
Mr Bryant told the Otago Daily Times – which headlined his story Flight To Justice – that during his time in Waianakarua he had done “a lot of yoga,” but he ultimately decided to surrender because he feared he would be qualified as a danger to the public.
He contacted Taylor to ask him to arrange a peaceful arrest. The two already knew each other, as Mr. Bryant had previously helped design Taylor’s website.
Mr Bryant paid for the helicopter himself, Taylor told Stuff.nz, because “he wanted to go out in style.”
Local media report that he was arrested quietly and without incident on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. local time (04:00 GMT).