Waikato Police searching for a man who escaped from a prison south of Te Awamutu early this morning warn he is dangerous and should not be approached.
William KATIPA, 43, escaped from a medium security unit at the prison after scaling a security fence about 3am.
A second prison inmate was prevented from escaping by responding prison staff.
Described as a male Maori 180 cm tall, of solid build with coloured wavy hair, KATIPA is clean shaven with a dark complexion. It is not known what he was wearing at the time of his escape.
He has a tattoo of a bird on his neck and a glove on his forearm.
KATIPA has an extensive criminal history with over 20 convictions that include sexual attacks, violence and burglary.
Police warn given his history of violence KATIPA should not be approached and if seen people should ring 111 immediately.
KATIPA has links to the Bay of Plenty and Pukekohe areas.
Police are working closely with the Department of Corrections trying to recapture KATIPA and establish areas where he would likely attempt to flee to.