Waitati man who sparked manhunt named

A man whose alleged offending led to an armed manhunt spanning from the West Coast through Central Otago to Dunedin can be named.

Waitati man George Robert Tweedy appeared before Judge Richard Russell in the Queenstown District Court yesterday on charges of breaching a protection order, aggravated burglary while armed with an M16 firearm, kidnapping and strangulation all related to an alleged incident near Greymouth in May.

Interim name suppression was lifted yesterday.

His offending sparked an armed manhunt which ended with his arrest on May 11.

The 59-year-old was arrested in Cromwell in the car park beside the Cromwell fruit sculpture some 11 hours after a firearms incident in Blaketown, near Greymouth, that happened about 2am.

The Blaketown incident prompted police to warn Tweedy could be headed for Waitati, north of Dunedin, which led to an armed offenders squad callout in the coastal town.

The squad left Waitati just after 1pm after failing to find the man as police ramped up efforts to find him in Central Otago after receiving reports of him in the area.

He was arrested in Cromwell without incident about 1.25pm.

Yesterday’s appearance was Tweedy’s second in the Queenstown District Court on the same charges.

His case was initially called on May 12, the day following the manhunt and his arrest.

An application for electronically-monitored bail to a Waitati address, opposed by police, was turned down by Judge Russell.

Tweedy denied all charges and elected a jury trial.



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