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Updated: Tue, 04 May 2010 10:57:22 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Cars smashed in police chase



Cars smashed in police chase



A 47-year-old man was sent to hospital Tuesday after his car crossed the path of a police chase in Winnipeg's North End.

The pursuit, which began just after 7 a.m., also left two police cruisers damaged.

It started when police spotted a stolen truck at Boyd Avenue and McKenzie Street. They were on the lookout for the vehicle after reports came in just after midnight that it had been stolen from a home on Governor's Court.

The truck rammed the police cruiser then sped away along Boyd and crashed into another car at the intersection with Arlington Street.

The stolen vehicle again fled the scene but police stopped to check on the people inside the car that was hit.

Paramedics were called to help a man, who was removed on a stretcher and taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Tried to warn other drivers

That man, John Vickers, told CBC News he was trying to warn his neighbors when he got hit. He was heading home from work when he saw police zoom past, chasing a vehicle.

Moments later, he saw the stolen vehicle again, this time barreling towards him on Arlington Street.

Vickers tried to get out of his car and warn other drivers on Arlington not to cross the intersection, but before he could get out the speeding vehicle clipped his car and the jolt knocked him cold.

Vickers recovered from his blackout while emergency crews were tending to him. He said he has a sore back and leg, but is otherwise unscathed.

Despite the danger in his decision, Vickers said he would do it again in a second to try to keep people in his neighbourhood safe.

There has been an escalation in stolen vehicles in the area in the past three years, according to Vickers, who is tired of seeing criminals threatening the neighbourhood.

No officers were hurt in the incident, but police confirmed the suspect struck another police car while successfully escaping being boxed in by police.

The stolen vehicle was found abandoned a short while later near Boyd Avenue and Sinclair Street.

An 18-year-old suspect was taken into custody and is facing charges of dangerous driving, theft over $5,000, flight from police, and three counts of leaving the scene of an accident.

He's also facing four counts of assault with a weapon in relation to the smashing of the cars.

He remains in custody, police said. He was not immediately identified, but police said they plan to in the future.

Police would not confirm if the suspect was a known chronic car thief.

The stolen auto unit continues to investigate.

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