The city’s top cop is reeling in the wake of a criminal pursuit that left four people — including a pregnant woman — in hospital Tuesday.
“Criminals are creating a real danger for innocent people,” police Chief Mike Boyd said yesterday, outlining the rising threat of car thieves fleeing from police.
Officers attempted to halt a stolen Dodge Neon around 10 p.m. Tuesday. The vehicle fled west down River Valley Road, and officers gave chase. Once the stolen car swerved into the wrong lane, officers called off the pursuit. A head-on collision with the Neon and a civilian vehicle near Groat Road occurred just moments later.
Four people, including the male driver of the stolen vehicle, his male passenger, and two civilians in the other vehicle, suffered injuries and were rushed to hospital.
The chase is proof-positive of a rising problem plaguing city cops, Boyd said.
“These people take a vehicle and turn it into a weapon — that’s exactly what’s going on here,” he said.
“Our police officers are concerned about the public. I’m concerned about our police officers.”
About 30 per cent of thefts from vehicles are that of licence plates, Boyd said, urging anyone who’s been the mark of a plate theft to alert authorities. Stolen vehicles and plates account for a large percentage of criminal transport, running the gamut of drug running to joy riding, he said.
Police will put the brakes on a pursuit if Air 1 is in the vicinity, or if the chase endangers public safety. Though protocols exist, criminal flights are posing a rising risk.
Boyd said though injuries were sustained, the outcome could have been much worse, and officers reacted properly.
“I’m so thankful nobody was killed,” he said.
Both the driver and passenger of the Neon have charges pending.