11 Sep 2019

Man escapes from police custody in west Auckland

3:48 pm on 11 September 2019

A man has managed to escape police custody by pretending he was about to vomit.

The square where new community centre is likely to be built.

Avondale, in Auckland's west. Photo: RNZ / Eva Corlett

Michael Luke Robertson, 28, got away while being moved from a patrol car into the Avondale police station in west Auckland yesterday.

Police tried to chase him after he fled, but they couldn't catch him. He was last seen running down a driveway on Great North Road.

He is the fifth man to escape from the police in three weeks.

Auckland city commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus said two officers were taking Robertson into the station when he fled.

"He feigned that he was about to vomit, he'd been complaining of feeling ill. As he moved off to pretend to vomit he managed to scale a wall and run off."

Ms Malthus said having two officers escorting him should have been sufficient.

However, she said she was disappointed that this had happened.

"We will be undertaking a review of that situation and the police officers involved are quite gutted by this incident.

"They come to work every day to do their very, very best and no one comes to work to have these mistakes happen."

Robertson has active warrants for his arrest, including for methamphetamine possession.

The escape of three men in Levin last month, and the escape of one man in Rotorua, triggered a national review of the police's custody and transport of offenders.

Yesterday's incident will be included in that review.