Escapee plays week-long game of cat and mouse with police

 

POLICE have started a state-wide manhunt for escaped prisoner LUI 'Dylan' Tiaaleaiga who has been on the run for seven days after fleeing police custody at Rockhampton Hospital last Saturday evening.

Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey spoke with media today and said a state-wide search for the escapee was now underway, despite coming close on a number of occasions.

"We have reason to believe he may be in the Ipswich, Logan, Gold Coast area," he said.

"We have been receiving sightings from across the state."

It is not known how Tiaaleaiga escaped police custody withought notice, but CCTV footage shows him leaving through an unlocked hospital door and out on to the street.

 

WANTED MAN: Police are searching for Lui Tiaaleaiga after he escaped from their custody at the Rockhampton Hospital.
WANTED MAN: Police are searching for Lui Tiaaleaiga after he escaped from their custody at the Rockhampton Hospital. QPS

Snr Sgt Peachey has refused to comment on the specifics of the ongoing investigation.

Today he called for Tiaaleaiga to turn him self in and said "the offences you've committed aren't too serious".

He said police have had a large number of unconfirmed sightings and had "been visiting a number of addresses".

Tiaaleaiga was found to have a loaded firearm down his pants when he was first discovered by police on the original charges, prompting a public warning not to approach the offender.

Rockhampton CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey says a 19 year old attacker was charged in the Rockhampton Courthouse this morning with one count of grievous bodily harm.
Rockhampton CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey. Jann Houley

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Snr Sgt Peachey believes the offender has made contact with members of the community to discuss handing himself in. He reiterated it would be the best course of action for the offender and the public.

WANTED MAN: Police are searching for Lui Tiaaleaiga after he escaped from their custody at the Rockhampton Hospital.
WANTED MAN: Police are searching for Lui Tiaaleaiga after he escaped from their custody at the Rockhampton Hospital. QPS

"Seriously consider this option, we don't want this to go any further," he said.

It is suspected Tiaaleaiga has been receiving accommodation, food, cash and transport from an associate.

Police sent a stern warning to anyone who may be helping the offender.

"If you are assisting this person, you are committing an offence," Snr Sgt Peachy said.

He said all Rockhampton police officers were on the case and a number of officers from around Queensland were focused on locating the escapee.