I mean no harm, says fugitive

A Northland fugitive has written an open letter to the people of Kaitaia more than a month after he fled from a pursuing police officer, sparking a major Armed Offenders Squad operation.

The letter was sent to the Northland Age, sister paper of the Northern Advocate, and is purportedly written by Miles Ronald Walker. He was last seen on September 26 as he disappeared into bush at Kaingaroa, 15km northeast of Kaitaia.

A police AOS team flew  from Whangarei by helicopter after the police officer who pulled him over believed Mr Walker grabbed a gun from his car as he fled.

The letter, signed by ''Milo'', stated that people had nothing to fear from him and that he was no longer in the North.

 It reads: ''How my running into the bush makes me a dangerous man is beyond me. I've got no intention to harm anyone never have. I actually went to see my lawyer up the road. She wasn't home. As for going there to get ammo, what the hell? When did that take place?

''When I received txt saying I'd threatened police and 20-odd armed men were running around hoping to shoot me and that they had closed (the) local school that my own daughter attends, (that) shattered what little trust I had in people.

My God, I'd die before harming a child. My kids are

my life.

''How anything in my life leads people to believe I'm some twisted gun-toting mongrel I don't know. Last thing on my mind is shooting someone. The only people wanting to shoot anyone was the police. Apparently they spent hours hoping to get a shot. I don't know. I wasn't even in the valley.

''I can't go back in time and not run into the bush. If I could I would. Perhaps I've (been) chasing wild boars too long and the urge to hit the bush is always too strong to resist. But I have little trust as far as police are concerned, and after this outrageous scenario I can't blame myself. Hard to trust people when they want to shoot you.''

''So it's my word against theirs, and since they think I'm a piece of .... that needs to be shot we all know how that's going to pan out. So have no fear, only kai I spear, and I'm not even up there.''

Kaitaia police, however, say they do not want to shoot or harm Mr Walker in any way.

Detective Sergeant Trevor Beatson said police had been working closely with Mr Walker's family to try to facilitate his safe surrender.

''This has involved discussions with his family and the provision of contact details, so that I can assist in safely bringing Mr Walker into police custody. To date Mr Walker has refused to hand himself in or make contact with police.''

Mr Beatson said the police response in situations like that at Kaingaroa on September 26 was dictated by the actions or behaviour of the person involved and when Mr Walker allegedly armed himself it went from a simple traffic stop into something more serious.

''When you have an unarmed sole officer on an isolated rural road with a person who is armed, the balance of power clearly swings in favour of the armed person. As a result in this specific incident, the police Armed Offenders Squad was called in an attempt to resolve the situation.''

A warrant had been issued for Mr Walker's arrest for using a firearm against a law enforcement officer.

Mr Beatson said Mr Walker had a history of running from police and was prepared to go to extreme lengths to avoid capture.

''While I agree Mr Walker may be of no immediate danger to the public at large, he has certainly demonstrated a propensity to use firearms against police officers and this is clearly demonstrated in this most recent incident.''

Mr Beatson urged anyone who knew where Mr Walker was to call him at the Kaitaia station on (09) 408 6500 or, anonymously, via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or for the wanted man to hand himself in at any police station - unarmed.

Mr Beatson also offered an olive branch, inviting Mr Walker to make contact him as soon as possible so he could arrange his safe surrender.

- Northern Advocate

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