Locals aided police last Sunday evening by reporting a suspected impaired driver. York Regional Police have now charged a 27-year-old Toronto man with dangerous and impaired driving, and driving with cannabis and alcohol readily available.
The arrest occurred on Sunday when callers reported a suspected impaired driver in the area of Valleymede Drive and Redstone Road.
“He has his trunk open, he’s hitting the curb, I think he just blew his tire,” said one caller on a 911 call included in a video recording released by the police on Friday. Other callers noted the vehicle was sparking from the rim.
Dash-cam footage shows officers finding the suspect shortly after 8:30 p.m. The vehicle is parked on the side of the street as the driver examines the trunk.
Two squad cars surround the vehicle as the man tells officers he is dealing with a flat tire.
“You don’t have a flat tire, you have no tire,” an officer replies.
Under arrest, the man tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl, police said. His charges include impaired driving, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and one count each of driving with cannabis and with alcohol readily available.
Sgt. Andy Pattenden said no one was injured in the arrest. He also noted the decision to keep the driver’s identity anonymous.
“In this particular case, we chose to release video of the incident to help educate our community on the reality and danger of impaired driving,” Pattenden said in an interview on Tuesday. “Releasing the name of the accused is not necessary to achieve the education.”
The man’s next court appearance will be on February 9, 2021, in Newmarket. The driver is no longer in custody, Sgt. Pattenden said.
Impaired driving is a consistent problem across the GTA, and York Regional Police seek impaired drivers to get them off the road, he said.
Punishments for impaired driving include an arrest, charges laid, vehicle impoundment, and driver’s license suspension.
Kaitlyn Yung, a resident in the neighbourhood, expressed her concern over the event.
“Tons of families walk through here,” Yung said Sunday. “Children could get hurt just walking to school.”
Yung noted how narrow the streets were and how families still walk through the streets even at night. In the dash-cam video, a family appears on the sidewalk and another car drives by the scene.
“It doesn’t matter if it was day or night,” Yung said. “We’re very lucky police found him before someone got hurt.”
More than 900 calls this year reported suspected impaired drivers to York Regional Police.
“More importantly though, those calls can save lives,” Pattenden said.