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Man dies after bridge jump during pursuit

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/09/2016

A man who died after jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge during a pursuit stopped the car he was driving at the highest point of the bridge before going over the railing, police say.

They say Alaric Eccleston, a 31-year-old Aucklander, was someone they had been looking for over a numbers of weeks.

There were four warrants for his arrest and police had alerts on him for firearms possession.

Inspector Trevor Beggs said the incident on Thursday began at 11am, when Eccleston went to an address in Orewa, north of Auckland, and stole a car and money from a women he knew.

Police officers saw the car in Takapuna, on the North Shore, and a pursuit began when the driver failed to stop.

Insp Beggs said Eccleston headed towards central Auckland and rammed two police cars at Parnell.

He travelled on to Newmarket, where police abandoned the pursuit because of the risk to the public and the police Eagle helicopter took over.

Eccleston eventually headed back towards the central city and police restarted the pursuit when he travelled back towards the North Shore.

"At the highest point of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the driver stopped his car," Insp Beggs said

"He ran from his car and immediately jumped over the railing."

The police maritime unit pulled Eccleston from the water and carried out CPR, but he was pronounced dead when the unit got back to shore.

Insp Beggs said the incident had been been referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

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