A dangerous confrontation ensued between Cape Town metro police officers and a driver after the man sped through a red light in an attempt to evade the cops.
Cape Town – A dangerous confrontation ensued between Cape Town metro police officers and a driver after the man sped through a red light in an attempt to evade the cops.
The incident, which took place at the Racecourse Road and Otto du Plessis intersection on Monday, was caught on camera by fellow drivers and pedestrians watching on as officers engaged the driver of a silver Audi A4.
The footage shows the officers approaching the vehicle and firing at the car’s tyres, insisting that the driver to get out of the car.
Executive Director for Safety and Security Richard Bosman said that the City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate was aware of various videos doing the rounds.
Bosman explained that the metro officers shot at the vehicle’s tyres after they caught up and stopped him for a second time, and when they instructed him to exit his car, he refused.
“The determination of the driver to evade the officers and avoid arrest compelled them to take alternative measures to stop him,” he said.
“Metro police officers undergo regular training for such situations, and the video currently being circulated demonstrates the officers on scene took a decision to shoot out the getaway vehicle’s 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,” Bosman said.
“When he sped away a second time, officers followed him. He subsequently rammed through parking garage doors and entered the parking garage of a building where they followed and arrested him.”
The man was taken to Milnerton police station, where they are investigating a number of charges.
SAPS spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said: “A 30-year-old man was arrested for reckless and negligent driving. He will appear in court once he has been charged.”
Bosman also the defended the actions of the metro police officers who discharged their firearms while pedestrians and drivers were in the vicinity.
He said that after the suspect 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.
“While our officers are armed to protect for their own safety, we cannot ignore the responsibility they have in protecting the lives and safety of fellow road users and residents,” Bosman said.
He said that an alarming level of violence had been displayed against metro police officers, and that officers were often forced to take difficult decisions in the course of their duties.
“This can be seen with the level of firearm use that our officers have come across in similar situations during these enforcement operations, such as with the discovery of a restricted automatic assault rifle last week at a similar kind of traffic enforcement stop,” Bosman said.
He said the shooting had been reported to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), as is procedure.
IPID was contacted for comment, but had yet to respond.