On New Year’s Eve, Hamilton police are looking for the driver of an SUV who hit and badly injured two policemen while attempting to evade a traffic stop.
The incident occurred around 10:55 p.m. on Dec. 31 as officers were executing the Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) program in the southbound lanes of the Claremont Access, according to police.
“They were talking to two motorists who were in queue. A 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe disregarded the queue and then made their way through that spot check, striking officers knocking them unconscious, and they sustained serious injuries,” Hamilton police Chief Frank Bergen said.
The two officers, Bergen said, were taken to hospital, where they remain in stable condition. He added that they are awaiting surgery for broken bones.
The SUV was recovered unoccupied shortly afterwards in the Inverness Avenue and Belair Drive area.
“At this particular point, it has been a dogged search for the outstanding suspect,” Bergen said.
“We’re asking for the public with any information to come forward. We do have a lead, and we are following that lead as we speak.”
Police said the SUV is believed to have been involved several hours earlier in an incident in the area of Fennell Avenue East and Hoover Crescent, where officers approached a driver who was unconscious at the wheel.
“They had a bong on their lap, and they were sleeping in the car. Upon becoming awake, they actually drove into the cruiser and then made good their escape at that time,” Bergen said.
In that incident, no police officers were hurt.
“This serves as a sharp reminder that being a police officer is, in reality, perilous. And the reality is that you never know how your encounters will turn out “Bergen remarked.
“We’ve also noticed a tendency of disrespect towards police officers and authorities. As a result, this serves as a sharp reminder that individuals should follow the law, and that we will ensure that we can work together as a community to keep everyone safe.”