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Tongatapu man died after police car pursuit ends in foot chase

A 42-year-old man has died after attempting to escape police pursuit in Tongatapu.

The chase began after midday today at around 12.30pm when a patrol officer spotted  the suspect at the Konifelenisi petrol station in Fanga.

The suspect failed to stop on Police request before he fled south on Taufa’ahau Road in his own vehicle while being pursued by Police.

“Police were trying to execute a Bench Warrant issued on 24 May 2022 for the arrest of the suspect”, a Police statement said.

The suspect stopped at Ha’ateiho where he parked his vehicle and continued to flee Police by foot.

“Police, within 100m, caught up with him at a Ha‘ateiho residence”, it said.

“The police officer that first caught the suspect noticed that the suspect was having trouble breathing.

“The suspect soon became unconscious and the police officers at the scene, quickly rushed him to the Vaiola Hospital.

Dr. Pafilio Tangitau confirmed the suspect dead on arrival.

“A Tonga Police Executive member has spoken to the deceased’s widow, conveying Tonga Police’s condolences for their loss.

“As a matter of Police procedure, an investigation into the incident has been launched. Contact Police on 740-1660 or 922 to report any crime.”