Former Nelsonian captured in Cloverlea standoff


The man arrested over the armed stand-off in Palmerston North is a former Nelsonian, reports the New Zealand Herald.

Caleb Peter Kovaleski, 25, appeared in court on Saturday after an almost 48 hour stand-off with police that had the entire Palmerston North suburb of Cloverlea in lockdown

Police were searching for the fugitive after he led them on a high speed chase. He had a number of warrants for his arrest relating to dishonesty and driving offences, and was believed to be carrying a firearm.

The house where the fugitive was arrested. Photo: NZ Herald.
The house where the fugitive was arrested. Photo: NZ Herald.

Kovaleski surrendered peacefully to police at a house on Willowstream Grove at 4.15pm on Friday.

The former Nelsonian is facing four new charges over the incident; using a firearm against a police officer, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, and failing to stop for police.

Kovaleski is also charged with breaching bail on June 23, and stealing a Ford Courier Ute from Feilding on May 20.

Kovaleski lived in Nelson with his former partner and mother of their two daughters, for a number of years.

The woman, who only wanted to be identified as Letitia, told the New Zealand Herald she tried to talk him down.

“I told him that it was all over the news and more serious than he might think and that the police won’t muck around if they know he has a gun.

“I said it was up to him to decide if he came out in a body bag or went to jail and begged him not to let it end in the worst possible way. An absent father is better than a dead one, I told him.”

About an hour later he handed himself into police.

Letitia says Kovaleski was not violent or dangerous, but was “lost” and was in lots of foster homes from a young age.

“Because of his childhood and the way he started off as a young kid he’s been stuck in that pattern his whole life of running from things and people and his problems.”


– Story with NZ Herald