Sunday 23 July 2017

Garda dragged along road in car theft bid

Barry Duggan

A GARDA officer managed to arrest a car thief after being dragged by a stolen vehicle and thrown up against a wall.

Garda John Collins (28), who was brought to hospital following his ordeal, returned to work hours later in Tipperary.

He was on patrol with a colleague on Saturday night when they spotted a stolen vehicle in Kilcommon, Co Tipperary.

The car had been stolen earlier the same day in the Clonmel area and gardai across the region were on the lookout for it.

The two gardai suspected that the vehicle had been stolen by a criminal who is known to them.

The car thief is aged in his mid-40s and is from north Tipperary.

Shortly before midnight, after he had come across the stolen car, Garda Collins got out of the patrol car and walked up to the vehicle in order to inspect it and question the driver.

Becoming suspicious of the motorist, the garda attempted to take the keys out of the ignition. As he did so, the driver put his foot down and dragged the young garda along the road.

As the thief attempted to make his getaway from gardai in the stolen car, Garda Collins was thrown against a wall by the force of the fleeing car.

However, the culprit ended up driving down a laneway and he was immediately cornered and arrested at the scene by Garda Collins and his colleague.


The arrested man was taken to Nenagh garda station, while the officer was taken by his colleagues to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick, where he was treated for injuries incurred to his back and hip.

However, the Irish Independent has learned that Garda Collins did not sustain any serious injuries and he was back at work in Tipperary yesterday.

It is understood that the culprit is likely to face criminal charges in the near future, including two counts of burglary and the unauthorised taking of the stolen vehicle from the Clonmel area.

A file on the late-night drama in Kilcommon is currently being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and it is not yet known if other charges will arise from the incident.

Garda Collins is based in Newport garda station in Tipperary.

He is the third officer from the same station to be involved in a serious incident in the area this year.

Last January, Sgt Deborah Marsh and Garda Gerry Brassil escaped with their lives after a motorist who they had stopped on suspicion of drink-driving fired several gunshots at them before he turned the weapon on himself.

Both officers attempted to disarm Anthony McMahon (44) before he killed himself on the outskirts of Newport.

Sgt Marsh and Garda Brassil returned to work in recent months.

Irish Independent

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