Despite being in handcuffs, a suspect managed to overpower a Toronto police officer and steal their SUV on Monday, setting off a frantic early-morning pursuit through the city’s midtown.
Before 4:30 a.m., according to a source who spoke to CP24, officers were called to a break-and-enter at the intersection of Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue. There, they discovered a male suspect and started to hold him.
After being placed in handcuffs during the arrest, the defendant was able to overcome the arresting officer and leap into an SUV belonging to the police canine unit.
He then allegedly sped away to the west, with two police dogs sitting in the back of the vehicle.
The suspect then crashed the SUV after pulling into the parking lot of a Metro grocery store in the Keele Street and Lawrence Avenue area.
Before police arrived, the suspect allegedly approached several cars trying to open them, and then flagged down a taxi to attempt to carjack it.
Police then got to the scene and subdued the suspect.
The suspect was taken to a hospital trauma centre in non-life-threatening condition.
The taxi driver was taken to local hospital with minor injuries.
The dogs in the back of the police vehicle were not harmed.
Insp. Craig Young called the incident “quite extraordinary.”
“It was an audacious move to take a police car and engage in this kind of activity, it’s just extraordinary.”
A large amount of debris was seen along Keele Street leading up to the grocery store, suggesting the suspect struck a number of objects along the way.
Asked how a suspect could steal a police vehicle in such a manner, Craig said several times they were still working to determine what transpired, or if an internal probe into police practice was needed.
“The circumstances will dictate whether an internal investigation is justified.”