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UPDATE: Charges laid after Ottawa police vehicle stolen, driven into park on Booth Street

The suspect crashed the vehicle into a wall and was arrested.
2018-07-12 ottawa police cruiser MV3
Ottawa Police Service cruiser. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters

What started with a traffic stop ended with an Ottawa police vehicle being stolen and driven through a public park on Booth Street, just north of Highway 417.

Investigators say a frontline officer made a traffic stop in the area around 6:50 p.m., seeing that the passenger in the vehicle was not wearing a seatbelt.

As the officer approached the vehicle to speak with the passenger, the passenger got out of the vehicle and started walking away. Police say the man was repeatedly asked to stop and refused. He then pushed the officer and took off, running.

Another officer arrived on scene and helped to find the suspect nearby. 

Police say the second officer tried to arrest the passenger, but was also shoved and the suspect again started running away. 

The officers caught up to the man and another scuffle ensued. This time, when the suspect ran away, he got into the arresting officer’s police vehicle and managed to get into the driver’s seat while both officers attempted to restrain him. 

The suspect started driving the cruiser, dragging one of the officers for a short distance as the officer managed to free himself from the moving vehicle.

The suspect then drove off at a high rate of speed into a nearby park and slammed the vehicle into a brick wall. Responding officers were then able to arrest the suspect. 

The man initially provided a false name to officers, but investigators later identified him.

The suspect suffered a minor injury as a result of the collision. No police officers were seriously injured during the incident.

James Rush, 35, of no fixed address, was wanted on a warrant for several offences including:

  • Robbery
  • Possession of a weapon
  • Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
  • Theft of a motor vehicle
  • Drive while prohibited and breach of probation (four counts)

In addition to the previously issued warrant, Rush has been charged with:

  • Assault with intent to resist or prevent lawful arrest (two counts)
  • Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle
  • Operation of a Conveyance while Prohibited
  • Flight from Peace Officer
  • Theft of a Motor Vehicle
  • Obstruct a Peace Officer
  • Fail to comply with a Judicial release (four counts)
  • Unlawfully Possess Schedule I Substance (three counts)

He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

The investigation into this matter is ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Ottawa Police Central Criminal Investigation Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5166.

Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca.

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