27 September 2022

Task force target allegedly lurked outside police officer's home, pursued and crashed into car

| Albert McKnight
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Men in car at night

A photo was taken during a car chase after three men were spotted outside a police officer’s house. Photo: Supplied.

Three men have been accused of lurking outside a police officer’s home at 1 am, including one who was being investigated in a task force the officer was involved in before chasing him through Canberra.

Bradley Booth walked past the officer’s house and made eye contact with him a number of times before the incident, it was alleged in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (18 August).

The officer is part of Operation Toric, a task force that targets recidivist offenders and focuses on stolen vehicles and burglaries.

Booth, 29, is a person of interest to the task force.

Court documents state the officer had just driven home early Thursday morning when he saw a Toyota RAV4 parked outside with three people inside wearing face coverings.

The RAV4 quickly accelerated away with its headlights off. Worried that the occupants could be targetting him due to his job, the officer followed.

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However, the RAV4 allegedly tried to ram his car and then pursued him as he tried to flee it, reaching speeds of 140 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. It allegedly tried to ram him again, chased him close to his car and swerved around him.

Eventually, the tables were turned and the officer pursued the RAV4 with the support of other police, but it crashed into his car on Horse Park Drive in Kenny, rendering his car immobile, before coming to a stop.

The three defendants were arrested a short time later.

Booth is alleged to be the driver, while 34-year-old David Miller of Spence was in the front passenger seat and 32-year-old John Brendan Khan of Rivett was in the back.

All three defendants were charged with participating in a criminal group that engaged in reckless conduct to cause harm to the police officer, among other offences.

Booth was also handed charges that included driving furiously, failing to stop for police, using a weapon to endanger human life and resisting a public official.

He didn’t apply for bail and was remanded in custody, while Khan and Miller did make bids for bail.

Stephanie Beckedahl from Hugo Law Group said Khan was only alleged to be a “body” in the backseat of the car, which her client admitted in one of the several interruptions he made.

He also said: “This is pathetic”, “I did not run” and “You c-ts hit us first; I’m getting the video footage”.

Prosecutor Anthony Williamson said wearing a face covering was entirely inconsistent with innocent involvement and Khan’s convictions included 15 failing to appear in court offences.

There were also outstanding warrants for his arrest in NSW and Queensland.

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A duty lawyer said Miller denied being involved, other than being a passenger, and claimed he had only been picked up about 10 minutes before the chase because he had been out drinking and Booth was going to give him a lift home.

However, Mr Williamson questioned why he was outside the front of a Toric officer’s home at 1 am if he was just getting a lift.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker refused bail for Khan due to his extensive history of failing to attend court.

When it came to Miller, she said he was a well-known criminal who had been sitting in a car with another well-known criminal in front of an officer’s house, but he had no convictions for failing to appear and granted him bail on strict conditions that included a curfew and daily reporting to police.

Miller pleaded not guilty, but Booth and Khan have not entered pleas.

Booth is back in court on 8 September, Khan on 1 September and Miller on 27 October.

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