Suspect in wild police pursuit in Saskatoon in court today

One person is hurt, several police cruisers are damaged and a 25-year-old suspect is in custody following a wild pursuit through Saskatoon streets Wednesday just before rush hour.
At least two police cruisers were damaged during the incident involving an erratic driver. (David Shield/CBC)
This black truck, connected to the incident, was disabled after a police cruiser deliberately crashed into it. (David Shield/CBC)
One person is hurt, several police cruisers are damaged and a 25-year-old suspect is in custody following a wild pursuit through Saskatoon streets Wednesday afternoon just before rush hour.

Police said eight shots were also fired by an officer at the suspect vehicle, a black pickup truck. None of those shots connected.

At one point, according to police, an officer on a sidewalk was narrowly missed by the truck. That officer was shouting at pedestrians to get out of the way.

Mark Robertson was in a cafe on 20th Street and watched it happen.

"It happened kind of fast. It's like, one minute, I'm having a bottle of juice, waiting for the wife, and then, bang, it all happened, and I'm like, what the hell, you know what I mean," he said.

"How nobody got hurt, I don't know, because one of the cars ended up on the sidewalk, and you know, it's a miracle nobody got hurt on the sidewalk. How he never got into one of the businesses, I thought he was going to ram into one of the businesses, eh?"  

The pursuit finally ended when another officer in a cruiser intentionally collided with the truck. A man fled the disabled vehicle but he was arrested following a brief foot chase.

Chase began following report of erratic driver

Chief Clive Weighill said this was not a typical police chase.

"We were dealing with a very bizarre incident last night with an individual who was determined to cause destruction," he said.

"This was a person that, an adult, 25 years of age, purposefully driving at vehicles, purposefully driving at a police officer. Failing to adhere to any rules of the road."

Police said the pursuit began shortly after they received a call about a truck being driven in an erratic way around Avenue I and 19th Street West. A patrol car came across the suspect, in an alley, but when the officer signalled the driver to stop, he took off.

A pursuit ensued, but police said it was called off at 8th Street and Lorne Avenue due to safety concerns.

Around the same time, however, another officer had deployed devices called stop sticks (similar to spike belts) ahead of a possible route by the suspect. The driver did indeed come upon the sticks but swerved to avoid them. That move led to several vehicles on 20th Street getting struck.

Further along, the suspect came upon another police cruiser and ran into it, disabling the patrol car.

Civilian hurt

The rampage continued when the driver next ran into a number of civilian vehicles on the road. Police said one of those collisions led to a person suffering injuries and being taken to hospital.

The situation became very scary when the black truck turned back and returned to the spot when the police cruiser had been disabled.

"An officer was standing on the sidewalk where several citizens had gathered," police said in a statement about the incident. "He began shouting at the citizens to move to safety."

Then, as the suspect vehicle bore down on him, the officer fired shots at the truck.

Having avoided those, the suspect continued on. That's when another officer crashed into the truck, leading to the man's ultimate arrest.

Police said their investigation into everything is continuing and traffic is being restricted on 11th Street West near Circle Drive and in the 200 block of Avenue Q South.

Those restrictions have since been lifted.

Weighill said the 25-year-old suspect had recently been released from the penitentiary. The truck involved in the chase had been reported stolen from Rosthern.