NEWS

Wild police chase torches motorbike, SUV in Richmond Hill

06/12/2013 08:05 EDT | Updated 08/12/2013 05:12 EDT
A 28-year-old man is in custody after a wild police chase in Richmond Hill early Wednesday ended with a mud-caked suspect hunted by dogs in the woods, but not before he allegedly carjacked an SUV and ran over the motorcycle he ditched earlier, dragging it under the getaway car as both vehicles burst into flames.

It was a scene that played out like a Hollywood stunt shoot.

The chase began just before 5 a.m. when York Regional Police arrived at the scene of a break-and-enter in progress at a variety store near Yonge Street and Silverwood Road.

The suspect fled police on a motorcycle but crashed the bike into a Lexus SUV.

The pursuit didn't end there.

Instead, police say the suspect then carjacked the Lexus, whose driver was stopped at a red light.

While fleeing in the stolen SUV , the suspect ran over his motorcycle.

"The gentleman who was on the motorcycle took possession of the vehicle he collided with and basically made his way up Yonge Street with the motorcycle lodged underneath," said York Regional Police spokesman Insp. Chris Bullen.

It remained jammed under the vehicle as the Lexus fled north on Yonge, at times reaching speeds of 140 km/h. He drove a distance of about eight kilometres.

Police say the motorcycle began to burn as it was dragged along the road. With the stolen getaway vehicle now on fire, the suspect stopped on Yonge Street in the area of Bloomington Road and fled on foot into a wooded area. The Lexus, meanwhile, became fully engulfed in flames.

Charred motorcycle 'was in pieces'

"In 25 years, I've never seen anything like it," Bullen said.

The suspect was arrested in a wooded area after about half an hour with the help of a canine unit and a police helicopter. He was arrested in a swampy area around Aurora and had mud caked on his legs as he was led away in handcuffs, wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

In the aftermath of the chase, CBC's Trevor Dunn reported that the motorcycle "was in pieces" and that both vehicles were blackened from the fire.

The suspect was treated for minor injuries. Charges are pending and police are appealing for witnesses.

"That's the important thing for us to piece together what transpired here," Bullen said.

Yonge Street north of Bloomington was closed for several hours during the investigation, but reopened by around 9 a.m.

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