A man who fled the Auckland Covid-19 quarantine facility yesterday and allegedly kicked an officer in the face addressed court today via a telephone line.
The man, who has Covid-19, had been isolating at the Jet Park Hotel quarantine facility in Māngere since Saturday October 2.
He allegedly escaped around 3.10pm yesterday afternoon and was found by police a short distance away, outside an address on Kohindoor Ave, in Māngere.
He was taken into custody at 3.45pm, police said.
He has been charged with intentionally failing to comply with the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 by attempting to escape and evading enforcement officers at the MIQ facility.
The man, 23, has also been accused of assaulting an enforcement officer by kicking her in the face during his escape, and intentionally damaging a police patrol car, court documents reveal.
An additional charge was filed by police, of assault with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of any imprisonable offence, namely failing to comply with the Covid-19 Order. The maximum penalty for this charge is three years of imprisonment.
He appeared in Auckland District Court this afternoon via a phone link, and experienced a number of technical difficulties.
He was granted interim name suppression and did not seek bail.
He has been remanded without plea until his next appearance on October 26.
“The fact that someone has absconded from one of our facilities is a disappointing and unacceptable breach,” Joint Head of MIQ Brigadier Rose King said yesterday.
“We are investigating how this happened.”
Officers who interacted with the escapee wore full PPE and therefore no staff involved are required to isolate, police said.
The officer allegedly kicked in the face received minor injuries and is being supported by police, they said in a statement today.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the breach during yesterday’s road map press conference.
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