New charge for offender who fled on bail

By Corey Charlton

A man who skipped bail earlier this week has been caught and appeared in court yesterday facing a new but historical violence charge.

Joseph Tira Rangi, 30, was granted bail on Tuesday to attend his 15-year-old son's funeral. He was bailed into the custody of a local minister but failed to return to Hawke's Bay Regional Prison at 5pm that day.

He was found about 10pm on Wednesday after police had issued a warrant for his arrest and warned he was dangerous and should not be approached.

Before being released on bail, Rangi had pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to injure in the Hastings District Court for an attack on his partner in September that left her with severe injuries.

Detective Sergeant Darren Pritchard said Rangi was arrested without incident on Wednesday evening.

"We received information and as a result of that we located him at a location in Hastings," he said. "He surrendered without any further incident, so it was good. We're unaware of exactly where he went at this stage, that will obviously feature as part of [the] investigation."

The victim of his offending, and Rangi's partner at the time, was also found last night but he would not comment on whether they were found together, saying only that police no longer had any fears for her safety.

The minister whose custody he was bailed into declined to comment.

Rangi had pleaded guilty to an assault on his partner that took place in Wanganui on September 11 when the couple were visiting his parents.

He was extremely intoxicated at the time and punched his partner at least a dozen times in the face after an argument broke out over his drinking. The attack left her with severe facial swelling.

To stop her screaming, he also removed her scarf and stuffed it into her mouth, while at the same time blocked her nose. Unable to overpower him and unable to breathe, she bit his finger. In retaliation, he bit her arm, then her cheek.

Rangi appeared in Hastings District Court yesterday morning facing a new charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm against the same victim. It is alleged to have occurred on January 4 this year in Whanganui. He entered no plea and was remanded in custody until later this month.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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