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Two Men Charged Following Mount Maunganui Incident

Tauranga Police have charged two men with burglary after an early morning incident yesterday in which a man died while trying to avoid arrest.

Police were called to Surf Road at Mount Maunganui at 3.40am yesterday morning after three men were seen loading timber into a vehicle.

"Officers arrived as the men were driving off and blocked the vehicle’s exit path," says Acting District Commander Inspector Clifford Paxton.

"One occupant, a 32-year-old man, was arrested as he attempted to exit the vehicle through the boot,"

"The remaining two were pursued on foot by officers,"

"A 53-year-old man was detained after an altercation with officers, however a 37-year-old man ran into the sea in an effort to avoid arrest,"

"For their own safety, the officer elected not to follow the man into the surf and additional Police units began a shoreline search," Paxton says.

Police say at about 5am, the body of a man was found a short distance up Omanu Beach. However, despite efforts from Police, FENZ and ambulance crews, the man was unable to be revived.

Police are providing support to the man’s whānau.

Police will carry out a post-mortem of the deceased in the coming days and the results will be referred to the Coroner.

Police have carried out a scene examination and interviews with those involved.

"Subsequently, the 53-year-old man has been charged with burglary by night and assaulting Police, while the 32-year-old man has been charged with burglary and driving while disqualified," Paxton says.

Both were due to appear in court yesterday.

Public Interest Journalism funded through New Zealand On Air.


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