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Esquimalt man charged after wild driving spree

Dec 07 2011

Saanich police have charged a 28-year-old Esquimalt man who allegedly went on a reckless driving spree, crashing his car through fences, yards and nearly hitting an innocent bystander and police officers while high on cocaine.

Jared Lee Murphy is charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, impaired driving by drug, resisting arrest, mischief to property and possession of cocaine.

Concerned drivers called the police about 2:30 a.m. Sunday when a man, driving a silver Nissan Maxima, was speeding south down the Trans Canada Highway, said police spokesman Sgt. Dean Jantzen.

More witnesses called Saanich police as the man drove erratically down Wilkinson Road near Interurban Road.

The vehicle swerved into oncoming traffic and a woman unloading groceries after a night shift had to dive out of the way of the car, Jantzen said.

The vehicle was driven directly at a patrol sergeant's vehicle, causing the officer to swerve into a ditch.

Up to 12 officers tried to apprehend the driver, Jantzen said.

Jantzen said at times the driver slowed the car down to let police catch up, which led them to believe he was baiting officers to engage in a chase.

Police refused to engage in a dangerous pursuit, Jantzen said, but worked to corner the car on a dead-end street.

Intent on evading police, the man drove off the road, through people's lawns, through fences and through a shed before getting stuck in a wooded area near Glanford Avenue and Kenneth Street.

"The car was seen by witnesses to drive directly

at two officers on foot before it got stuck," Jantzen


A police dog team chased the man on foot through a swampy ditch.

It took five officers to restrain the man, Jantzen said.

B.C. Ambulance paramedics were called when it appeared the man was in medical distress and he went into drug-induced cardiac arrest in the ambulance, Jantzen said.

Jantzen said officers believe drugs were a factor in the driver's "disturbing" behaviour. Police obtained a warrant to search his car and obtained blood samples from the man.

Murphy appeared before a justice of the peace from his hospital bed Monday and was remanded in custody until his next court date.


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