Escaped mobster caught

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A high profile Mongrel Mob member, with links to Hawke's Bay, has been captured in New Plymouth after several days on the run.

Mana Tangitutu, 27, who has the words "East Coast mongrel forever" and three large M's tattooed on his face, sparked an extensive man hunt when he escaped police custody in Whakatane earlier this month after being handed a four month prison sentence for assault.

Whakatane Police and the New Plymouth Armed Offenders Squad co-ordinated a search warrant at a house in New Plymouth where Tangitutu was arrested without incident yesterday.

Hawke's Bay Today's archives revealed Tangitutu's trail of offending as an 18-year-old in Hastings.

In 2003, he was sentenced in the Hawke's Bay courts for his part in an unprovoked attack on a tourist, and the same year told a court how he passed a knife to a man on trial for a fatal stabbing.

At the time of the unprovoked assault, Judge Dale Clarkson called Tangitutu's actions "a disgraceful piece of violence". He was one of three men who punched and kicked a Malaysian tourist in a daylight attack.

Months later he told the High Court in Napier how he gave a knife to the man on trial for fatally stabbing 18-year-old Gavin Arthur outside a Hastings party.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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