Suspect faces multiple charges after man hit during wild joyride through park
A suspect faces several charges after a vehicle drove erratically through a busy park and sports complex and hit one person on Tuesday evening in Charleswood.
Police remained on scene for several hours at Marj Edey Park and Varsity View Sportsplex at Fairmont Road and Ridgewood Avenue.
Emergency crews were called around 8 p.m. with reports of a grey Chevrolet Cavalier driving through the soccer and baseball fields and skate park.
Skateboarder Brendon Gladu captured video of a silver car driving right into the skateboard park bowl.
“Some moron decided to drive like a race car driver,” Gladu told CTV Winnipeg. “He’s putting little kids at risk, children at risk. It’s disappointing to see, it’s disrespectful first.”
“There was another little kid over here on a scooter that actually took a tumble just before the car jumped down the ramp, and he scraped up his knee a little bit,” said Brandon Twardoski, who saw the car careening through the skate park.
Gladu said the car then drove through a baseball diamond and according to police the car may have reached speeds of up to 80 km/h.
“Saw a big cloud of dust, saw someone fly over the hood,” said Gladu. He said a baseball team tried to confront the driver, who took off.
Diane, whose son was playing soccer at the time, said the car chased baseball players, hit one, then raced away down Fairmont Road and jumped over the tracks just as a train was approaching.
According to Winnipeg police, the 25-year-old man who was hit by the car sustained only minor injuries despite flipping over the roof of the car.
“I think it’s strictly pure luck that he was able to jump as he was being struck by the vehicle and instead of going under that vehicle, potentially, he went up and over the vehicle and was able to land on his feet,” said Const. Jason Michalyshen.
Police said the car eventually exited the park and drove east on Wilkes Avenue, narrowly missing the oncoming train as it crossed the tracks.
Police tell CTV News the driver got out of his car and was picked up by his girlfriend.
He then got out of her car and continued on foot.
Police located the car abandoned by the suspect in the area of Eldridge Avenue and Elmhurst Road.
Nearly two hours later, police were seen searching Loudoun Road.
"There was a whole bunch of police in the bush too. I guess they were trying to track some guy down, and heard some yelling and whatnot," said Greg Stangl, who lives on the street where an arrest was made.
Early Wednesday morning, police arrested a suspect. On Thursday, they announced a long list of charges.
Andrew Scott Penner, 21, faces numerous Criminal Code and Highway Traffic Act charges in the incident, including criminal negligence causing bodily harm, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and driving without a licence.
-with files from Cheryl Holmes and Andrea Slobodian