WATCH | Cape Town driver ignores police, speeds off with shot-out tyres and crashes into parking garage

26 January 2021 - 18:37
An Audi sedan was shot at by police after a 30-year-old man evaded arrest and fled in Cape Town on Monday. The man was eventually arrested.
An Audi sedan was shot at by police after a 30-year-old man evaded arrest and fled in Cape Town on Monday. The man was eventually arrested.
Image: Screenshot

A 30-year-old man was arrested for reckless and negligent driving in Cape Town on Monday after he defied bullets, road rules and police as he sped away from metro police officers.

Making the escape more audacious, his vehicle had the air shot out of its tyres at a traffic light before the driver sped off.

The man had allegedly skipped a red light in full view of the officers and rammed into their car as they attempted to stop him. Seemingly unperturbed, the driver of the silver Audi sedan sped off, with the officers in pursuit. When they caught up to him again he, once again, refused to heed the officers' instructions and instead tried to drive away again.

Various videos taken by bystanders then show the officers firing their handguns at the car's tyres in an attempt to immobilise him. But this did not seem to deter the driver, as he sped off again.

The videos showed the officers firing through the back windows of the vehicle. The shooting is being investigated by the Independent Police Investigation Directorate.

As the chase continued, the driver, in a vain attempt to lose his pursuers, smashed through a rolled-down security entry barrier at an underground parking lot. Not even the barrier could keep the vehicle at bay.

“When he sped away a second time, officers followed him. He subsequently rammed through parking garage doors and entered a parking garage of a building where they followed and arrested him,” said Cape Town's executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, on Tuesday.

Explaining the incident, he said the city's safety and security directorate was aware of various videos doing the rounds. "The driver went through a red light and when metro police officers tried to stop him, he drove into their vehicle, causing damage. He then sped away, but when officers caught up to him and instructed him to exit his car, he refused, they shot at his tyres.

“The determination of the driver to evade the officers and avoid arrest, compelled them to take alternative measures to stop him. Metro police officers undergo regular training for such situations, as the video currently being circulated demonstrates the officers on scene took a decision to shoot out the getaway vehicles’ tyres, thus severely limiting his attempts to flee the scene at high speeds, which could have resulted in the injury or death of innocent road users.

“While our officers are armed to protect their own safety, we cannot ignore the responsibility they have in protecting the lives and safety of fellow road users and residents."

According to Bosman, the driver refused to obey a lawful instruction to stop and exit the vehicle and, instead, continued his attempts to resist his arrest and evade police.

“After he had already caused considerable damage to property and risk to the safety of road users, officers were forced to take immediate action in an attempt to immobilise his vehicle. This begs the question of why he was so determined to evade them,” Bosman said.

“With an alarming level of violence been displayed against our officers and levels of increased lawlessness on our road, our officers are often forced to take difficult decisions in the course of their duties,” he said.

He said this was demonstrated by the levels of firearm use that metro police officers came across in similar situations during law-enforcement operations.

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