NEWS

401 road rage leads to dramatic police takedown

05/22/2012 03:04 EDT | Updated 07/22/2012 05:12 EDT

A case of road rage on Highway 401 near Cobourg, Ont., culminated in a high-risk police tactical unit takedown on a crowded beach at Sandbanks Provincial Park, and several charges.

Ontario Provincial Police said the Sunday incident began at about 1 p.m. ET on Highway 401 just west of Cobourg.

Two cars were heading east when one allegedly cut off the other.

A husband and wife were travelling in the vehicle that was cut off, and four people were in the other vehicle.

OPP Const. Kim Guthrie said the wife made a "rude hand gesture" at the suspects, and the people inside allegedly started throwing garbage at them.

The husband and wife became worried for their safety and left the 401 at Cobourg.

But the suspect car followed them onto the offramp, where a man and a woman allegedly jumped out and started yelling at the victims.

A heated argument ensued.

Guthrie said the woman jumped onto the victims' car. The man who was with her then threatened to use a handgun he said he had stashed under his shirt, said Guthrie.

At about this time, Guthrie said, a Cadillac Escalade pulled up behind both vehicles. The people inside the Escalade, friends of the suspects, struck up a conversation, and Guthrie said the husband and wife used the brief opportunity to drive away.

Tactical team makes arrest at crowded beach

The couple called police when they had stopped safely nearby. OPP sent out an alert with descriptions and at about 5 p.m., Prince Edward County OPP officers spotted the two suspect vehicles in a public parking lot at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

An OPP tactical response team was called in for backup to make the arrests, and park wardens were called to help find the suspects in the park.

None of the suspects had a gun, and no guns were found in either vehicle.

Guthrie said a "controlled takedown" was the best option police had, and it was "far better than something spontaneous," such as sending a lone officer up to them on a beach crowded with people.

Three people were charged:

- A man suspected of uttering threats.

- A woman suspected of jumping on the victims' car.

- The driver of the Escalade.

MORE:cbcNews