What began as a call from a resident being followed turned into what is believed to be the longest police helicopter “engagement” in the province’s history.
On Saturday, Jan. 27 at approximately 2:30 a.m., a woman travelling in the area of Rossland Road West and Stevenson Road North in Oshawa called police because she was being followed by a male known to her.
The woman claimed the male was driving erratically behind her and was trying to ram her vehicle.
Members of Durham Regional Police Service located the male’s vehicle and, upon seeing officers, he fled the area. He continued to evade police who backed off for safety reasons.
Eventually, the male entered Highway 401 eastbound, travelling at speeds as high as 230 km/hr. The Air1 police helicopter followed the vehicle for 154 km, as officers on the road kept a safe distance away. The male travelled towards Peterborough but then began to drive back towards Durham Region.
Officers from East Division strategically placed a tire deflation device on Ganaraska Road and were able to stop the vehicle.
The driver fled on foot and officers searched the area. The male attempted to discard evidence in the forest but Air1 was able to direct ground units to the items. The suspect was found in a wooded area and arrested.
DRPS spokesperson Const. George Tudos explained the incident is considered an “engagement” instead of a “pursuit”, because the accused may not have even been aware of the helicopter.
A 47-year-old man from Oshawa has been charged with criminal harassment; possession of cocaine, heroin, and MDMA for the purpose of trafficking, race a motor vehicle; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and driving while under suspension. His name is being withheld due to the domestic nature of this incident. He was held for a bail hearing.
Anyone with any new information about this incident is asked to call D/Cst. Willis of Central West Division Criminal Investigation Bureau at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 1829.
Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.