Saturday 22 September 2018

'Lone wolf' blamed as cop, pedestrians rammed

Police investigate the rented van that was flipped on its side while driven by the assailant in Edmonton. Photo: Reuters/Candace Elliott
Police investigate the rented van that was flipped on its side while driven by the assailant in Edmonton. Photo: Reuters/Candace Elliott

Julie Gordon

A 'Lone wolf' attacker is believed to be responsible for a car and knife assault on a police officer and a high-speed chase featuring up to 30 police cars that left four people injured in Canada.

A 30-year-old local man was arrested after a rented van flipped on its side following the chase through the streets of Edmonton in the western state of Alberta.

Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht said an Isil flag was found in the car that hit the officer, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it a terror attack. "To the best of our knowledge, this was a lone wolf attack," Edmonton mayor Don Iveson said. The incident took place outside a Canadian Football League game at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night.

Police released video showing a white Chevrolet Malibu ramming into a police officer standing in front of his cruiser.

The driver then gets out and appears to stab the officer.

"Seeing the video is very upsetting because of the level of violence and level of intent," Mr Iveson said.

Mr Knecht said the suspect fled on foot.

The officer was taken to a hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries while a manhunt was launched, and Mr Knecht said his condition was "not critical".

A few hours later, a rented van was stopped at an drink-drive checkpoint elsewhere in the city.

Mr Knecht said the name of the driver was similar to the name of the registered owner of the car that hit the officer.

The van then sped off toward downtown with police in pursuit. Police say the vehicle swerved at people at pedestrians crossings throughout the chase. Four people were hurt.

The van eventually flipped near a downtown hotel and the suspect was arrested.

Witness Pat Hannigan said he saw police pull a man from the windshield of the toppled van and estimated that 30 police cars had been chasing it.

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