William Tuitupou. Photo / NZ Police

The man who escaped court custody in Auckland on Monday morning, after allegedly posing as a prisoner being let out on bail, has been located and arrested by Police.

William Tu’itupou, 48, will face an additional charge of escaping custody and is due to appear in Auckland District Court tomorrow.

Tuitupou had previously been remanded in custody and was taken to court to appear in relation to numerous charges on Monday.

His arrest today comes after Police made a number of enquiries to locate him, including conducting door knocks and reviewing CCTV footage.

He was considered dangerous and the public had been advised not to approach him.

Earlier escape

An old Herald report described the bold escape: “King Cobra gang associate William Tuitupou escaped after taking a bench apart with a spanner and using the planks to scale a perimeter wall.”

He would not be found until two months later, the report said.

Now, 23 years later, police are hunting him yet again and warned the public that he is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

Inspector Grant Tetzlaff confirmed Tuitupou to be a patched member of the King Cobras.

“He has links across Auckland and into other parts of New Zealand.

“We are making a number of inquiries to locate him and these are ongoing.”

As a result of Monday’s escape, Police and the courts are now working to review the circumstances of the incident and identify exactly how this was able to have happened.


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