Two tow-truck drivers are being hailed as heroes after a car chase through North Pickering yesterday morning.
Police said an Ontario Provincial Police officer pulled over a U-Haul at around 10:20 a.m. after receiving a report of a suspected drunk driver and one of the occupants tried to hit him with the vehicle.
The officer suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital. The male driver of the U-Haul and a female passenger ran toward Highway 7 and tried to stop passing cars.
Two tow-truck drivers who heard the incident on radio scanners located the suspects and held them down until police arrived.
A 41-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman face a slew of charges, including attempted murder, stemming from a police chase in Durham that ended with an OPP officer firing his gun and two tow-truck drivers pitching in to make citizens' arrests.
The ordeal unfolded Thursday after the OPP received a report of a suspected drunk driver on Highway 401 in Pickering.
An officer spotted the U-Haul vehicle around 10:30 a. m. and attempted to stop it, but the cube van sped off, sparking the chain of events, police said.
The OPP alleges the officer chased the truck as it exited the highway and headed north on Westney Road, but the pursuit was called off when the U-Haul drove through red lights.
Soon after, a second officer resumed the chase on Highway 407. The OPP said the cube van again fled.
The truck was eventually trapped on a dead end street in the hamlet of Green River, near Highway 7 and the York- Durham Town Line Road, and the officer was forced to fire a shot at it when the driver allegedly tried to run him down, police said.
The truck crashed in a ditch and a man and a woman fled on foot, the OPP said.
Moments later, the couple allegedly attempted to carjack several vehicles on Highway 7, offering money to one motorist before finally jumping into the backseat of a car occupied by a woman and her child.
Two tow-truck drivers, who had been monitoring the police chase on their radios, saved the day.
Mike Bailey and Richie Barnes nabbed a couple from a car they were attempting to flee in and held them for police.
Barry Allen and Melissa Maxwell, both of no fixed address, were arrested.
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Allen is now charged with attempted murder, forcible confinement, breach of probation and two counts each of dangerous driving and failing to stop for police. Maxwell is charged with assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and breach of probation.
Forcible confinement was added to their list of charges because the pair allegedly demanded their last carjacking victim drive them away from the scene rather than ordering her to exit the car with her child, OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford said.
The accused remain behind bars awaiting a bail hearing in an Oshawa court Monday.