MONTREAL (AFP) – Canadian police arrested a man yesterday suspected of stabbing an officer and injuring four pedestrians in a series of violent incidents being investigated as an “act of terrorism”.
The crime spree began Saturday evening outside a football stadium in Edmonton and ended hours later with a high-speed chase in which the driver of a rented truck ploughed into pedestrians, police said.
“Currently, we believe this is an individual who acted alone, although the investigation is in its early stages,” Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht said.
Based on the actions and the evidence at the scene, the incidents were being investigated as “acts of terrorism”, police said.
At approximately, 8.15pm a man in a speeding white Chevy Malibu crashed through police barricades outside an Edmonton stadium where a Canadian Football League game was being played.
The car struck a police officer standing in front of his patrol car, “sending him flying 15-feet through the air”. “A male, believed to be 30 years of age, then jumped out of his vehicle and began viciously stabbing the officer with a knife, as a struggle ensued,” the police statement said.
The suspect then fled on foot.
Just before midnight, police pulled over a rental U-Haul truck and noticed the name on the driver’s licence was similar to that of the white Malibu.
The man in the truck then took off towards downtown Edmonton, according to the police account.
“During the chase, the U-Haul truck deliberately attempted to hit pedestrians in crosswalks and alleys,” it said. “Currently, it is believed four pedestrians were struck by the truck and transported to hospital with multiple injuries.”
The chase ended when the truck flipped over, and the driver was arrested. Police described him as a 30-year-old from Edmonton.