Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

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Borderwatchman
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Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby Borderwatchman » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:13 pm

Citizens'170 km/h car chase aids in arrest
TheStar.com - Canada - Citizens'170 km/h car chase aids in arrest

Ottawa chase saw assaulted woman rescued followed by high speed pursuit of suspect

September 22, 2009
Jesse McLean
staff reporter
Two Ottawa men's decision to chase a car through residential roads at speeds exceeding 170 km/h to catch a suspected rapist has sparked a debate as to how far citizens should go when trying to help police.

Ryan O'Connor and his roommate, Matt Spezza, brother of Ottawa Senators star Jason Spezza, were driving to a Kim Mitchell concert around 11 p.m. Friday when they realized they forgot their tickets at home.

O'Connor, 33, turned his 2008 Porsche 997 around and they began heading back. As they drove down a deserted rural road, a woman jumped in front of the car.

"I hit the brakes. We were lucky we didn't hit her," said O'Connor. "She was screaming and crying, just hysterical. She pointed at this car and said, `That guy in the car tried to kill me.'"

The woman, holding a cell phone with a 911 dispatcher on the other end, said the attacker had given her a lift but then pulled over and demanded sexual favours.

The men then watched the alleged attacker take off in a blue Pontiac Wave.

Spezza told the distressed woman to get into back of the Porsche. Meanwhile, O'Connor grabbed her phone and spoke with the dispatcher as he chased the suspect's car.

Despite the two cars reaching speeds of over 170 km/h, the dispatcher didn't tell the men to stop the pursuit, confirmed Ottawa Police Chief Vern White.

"Our operator did not do what he should have done .... Thank God nothing happened," he said.

White said the department has no policy on citizen pursuits, adding that common sense should always prevail.

"If this had been a police pursuit, we would have stopped it. You don't do that with a victim in the back seat," he said.

The chase lasted about 20 minutes, O'Connor said, and took the two cars through several residential roads and parking lots. After driving the wrong way through a MacDonald's drive-thru, the suspect turned onto Hwy. 416, where a police barricade stopped him.

Canadian media outlets and blogs are abuzz with the story, with some hailing the men as heroes while others are denouncing them as reckless cowboys.

"When they put her in the back of the car, that was heroism," White said. "What happened after wasn't."

He said Spezza or O'Connor won't be charged because they were under police supervision at the time.

In Toronto, police dispatchers have a policy to "discourage" a citizen from doing anything dangerous when pursuing a potential criminal - be it following someone with a gun or chasing a car at high-speeds, said Supt. Mark Fenton.

"When trying to apprehend somebody at those speeds, you could easily lose control and kill somebody totally innocent," he said.

Despite the criticism, O'Connor said he is happy he and Spezza did what they did.

"There's two sides to every story. I can see their point: We're very lucky we didn't have a head-on (collision). But if we did nothing, people would have said, `you should have followed him.' It's lose-lose," he said.

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Datlicht
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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby Datlicht » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:37 pm

Pure luck... I'm not saying which of the three they are from the topic post because to me, none of those describe it. Happy the guy was caught though :thumbsup:
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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby recceguy » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:57 pm

Pretty stupid if you ask me. 170km/h through residential streets, wrong side of the road etc. Their intentions were good but they are VERY lucky nobody was hurt.
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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby dira necessitas » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:57 pm

I wonder if the 50 over legislation will apply to them....
I'm not saying there should be capital punishment for stupidity, but let's take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself.

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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby Whistler » Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:05 pm

Stupidity with a touch of vigilantism.

Get the plate, the type of car, and maybe a description of the driver. Call the professionals.

Anything other than that is absolutely stupid, especially CHASING somebody at 170kph and putting countless lives at risks. The police would not engage in a high speed pursuit in that situation, I don't think. Not to mention, they had the VICTIM in the car the whole time.

They should be thanked helping the victim and then charged for stunt driving.

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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby Kopparoo2b » Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:06 pm

Once they got the gal in the car...the most they should have done was give a description of the car to the dispatcher..She could have given a description of the guy, and then, since there were two of them...the passenger guy should have just tried to get lisence plate # to the dispatcher. Once that was done, they should have went to the Police Station...and police should have taken over. The dipatcher should probably have suggested that.....

Yes maybe it was a lot of adrenaline but the girl was now safe and it could have ended much worse.

In their mind I think they were just trying to "get the idiot"...I don't think they thought about hurting people in the process.

They should definitely be told that although what they did was in a sense understandable, it was also very dangerous...and the Police should be left to handle these types of scenarios. This should also be stressed in the media.....I mean 170km/hr?? Yikes........ :shock:
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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby Columbo » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:50 am

Kopparoo2b wrote:Once they got the gal in the car...the most they should have done was give a description of the car to the dispatcher..She could have given a description of the guy, and then, since there were two of them...the passenger guy should have just tried to get lisence plate # to the dispatcher. Once that was done, they should have went to the Police Station...and police should have taken over.


Close, but no cigar there Lieutenant Dan. The lady was raped; I think the hospital would be the next stop. :smirk: :wave:
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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby Kopparoo2b » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:22 am

BobB wrote:
Kopparoo2b wrote:Once they got the gal in the car...the most they should have done was give a description of the car to the dispatcher..She could have given a description of the guy, and then, since there were two of them...the passenger guy should have just tried to get lisence plate # to the dispatcher. Once that was done, they should have went to the Police Station...and police should have taken over.


Close, but no cigar there Lieutenant Dan. The lady was raped; I think the hospital would be the next stop. :smirk: :wave:


Maybe...

But the article doesn't actually say she was raped. It says "Assaulted Woman". She said he demanded sexual favours and .."he tried to kill me". We don't really know how far that went according to the article.

But I hear ya....

p.s.....I'm not actually a Lieutenant :mrgreen:
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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby devilwoman » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:46 am

I saw the one guy on the news, Spezza, and he stated that the car is built for speeds like that and can handle them. Hmmmm. the car might be able to, but methinks the driver isn't trained to do those speeds. In addition, the driver was talking to the 911 operator while driving at those speeds... :crazy:

I commend them for intervening, but getting the plate and maybe using their cell phone cameras to get a pic of the suspect is all that is necessary. No police service would pursue at those speeds and they have PVO under their belts.
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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby Columbo » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:37 pm

Kopparoo2b wrote:p.s.....I'm not actually a Lieutenant :mrgreen:


Too funny. :P

FINALLY! A newb with a sense of humour. I like you.
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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby Apollo » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:49 pm

I think it's nice that they helped rather than not do anything at all. I'm just looking at it from a basic stand point and not over analyzing it.

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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby Tommy » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:38 am

I've exceeded speed to keep up to a vehicle to assist the OPP before, but at the same time I also exercised discretion. Firstly it was the QEW, secondly Traffic was already moving for Drunky Mc Van Driver (who was towing a Golf cart in a trailer) and (thank god) He never put it above 140kph.

And my Co Driver.. er... passenger was on the phone with OPP so I could focus totally on the Driving portion, (which also for the Record, I have done a little advanced driver training, and navigated a couple more challenging vehicles through more difficult places then that. PM if you're curious...)

The OPP Road Sgt did recommend that I not do that again (while I was giving my statement), but he was thankful they got him.... Kind of a catch 22... I didn't want to loose him since we didn't have a plate for the Van itself (as it would have been unsafe to try and Maneuver to the side of him to get close enough to see it) and I didn't want him to hop off an exit and get away. The disturbing part was that we were QEW Niagara and called out by Beamsville, and didn't see an OPP cruiser until we passed by the on-ramp near the Burlington Detachment.

But I digress.... Given my training and experience I am willing to say that anything taught at Aylmer is definitely not beyond what I already know in regards to driving. that being said... if all of a sudden he decided to pull a fast and furious and punched it to over 160kph I would not be following him unless I had one of those big black and whites with the lights on em.... because its unsafe, and I don't have a mandate to chase him.... I did it because I have a personal Hatred of Impaired Drivers and didnt want to see another life ruined by one.

Those guys doing 170 in a built up urban area....... Cripes... I don't even think I could make myself do that.... the liability of killing a bystander or what not is just too high... even if I were a cop... I don't know what the policy is in most services but I don't think too many of them would be keen on it either..... Though Ive learned that there is a bit of a double standard..... if you take a chance and it works... you might get yelled at... but that's about it... if you take that same chance and it doesn't work... then the boom comes down.... (simply what I've seen in my job and heard in other emergency service jobs.)

Bottom line, Glad they caught him and no one else was hurt, but its an awful risk to take to do it....
"Courage is fear holding on a minute longer." - General George S. Patton

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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby dusty » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:34 am

Just wanted to say I really like your 2 quotes Tommy.
I personally did it for the money and the glory... my disappointment was tempered by the fact that I got a gun and a fast car-VanB

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Re: Stupidity, vigilantism, or heroism???? Discuss.

Postby eric266 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:50 am

I'm surprised this thing can get up to 170 :o :

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