31 January 2023

Confusion in court after alleged dangerous, multi-suburb police pursuit

| Albert McKnight
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Ute as seen from a police car after alleged chase

A man was arrested over allegedly driving furiously and failing to stop for police on Wednesday. Photo: ACT Policing.

There was confusion in court when the man alleged to have been behind the wheel of a vehicle during a dangerous driving incident earlier this week claimed the name he was charged under was not his own.

“My name’s not Ryan,” he told the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday (27 January).

“Why am I here?”

While prosecutor Colin Balog said he believed the man was the person arrested after the driving incident on Wednesday (25 January), in court, the man gave a different name to the one he had been charged under.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said she could proceed on the basis that he was the person arrested that day, but also said if there was going to continue to be a question about his identity then the prosecution needed to obtain another form of identification.

Earlier, ACT Policing said the man was arrested over his alleged involvement in a multi-suburb pursuit that ended in Ngunnawal.

READ ALSO Comanchero Axel Sidaros refused bail over alleged knife for sharpening pencils

On Wednesday morning, police learned a white Ford ute had been stolen from a business in Hume.

The ute was allegedly involved in a pursuit in NSW which ended after the driver rammed a NSW Police vehicle before crossing into the Territory.

After it was spotted in Harrison at about 11 am, officers allege they disengaged and re-engaged it multiple times due to the risk the driver posed to the public.

It was alleged the ute drove at 130 km/h in an 80 km/h zone and crossed onto the incorrect side of the road multiple times.

The ute’s driver allegedly failed to stop for police on Kingsford Smith Drive, but stop sticks were successfully deployed, destroying its front tyres and it began driving on its front rims.

A second stop stick device deflated one of the rear tyres.

The ute allegedly crashed through a locked gate, drove on a greenbelt area behind residences in Ngunnawal, tried to drive through a wire fence and was stopped after driving onto a large rock.

Officers claim they chased the man alleged to be the ute’s driver across multiple backyards before arresting him.

But he allegedly resisted arrest and provided incorrect personal information to officers.

READ ALSO Man already on bail remanded in custody over alleged dangerous driving

The man was charged with furious driving, failing to stop a vehicle for police, driving a vehicle without consent, driving while disqualified, giving a false name or address and possessing an offensive weapon.

The last charge relates to a long metal pipe he allegedly possessed.

In court, the matter was stood down for a time. When it was recalled, a custody officer appeared over the audio-visual link instead of the man. The officer said the man was refusing to leave his accommodation.

Chief Magistrate Walker said it was clear the man may have been affected by a drug or a mental health illness and she made a mental health order which requires him to be taken to hospital for treatment before he can be returned to court.

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Is low IQ the same as mental health issues?

Hopefully no bail for this one

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