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August 31, 2006 permalink
A Belleville mother tried to escape from CAS with her two children in a minivan. Police chased the van through the streets, stopped it by blowing the front tires and smashed the window to pull the mother out. The children were terrified, but through good luck survived their life-threatening experience without physical harm. Police can be satisfied now that the children will no longer be cared for by their mother.
A 34-year-old woman is in jail after leading police on a winding chase through the city with her two young children in the back of her minivan.
Shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday, police and officials with the Childrens Aid Society were conducting an investigation involving the woman and her children at a home on Tracey Park Drive.
According to police, the woman who did not have legal custody of the children took off from the scene with the youngsters in the back of her green Ford Aerostar minivan.
As the van zigzagged through streets in the citys north end at speeds reaching 70 km/h, police followed and attempted to get her to pull over and stop safely, said one officer, who asked not to be identified
The van began intersecting side streets in the west hill area when officers deployed a stopper stick a device similar to a spike belt on Murney Street.
With both front tires flattened, the van slammed into a pole on the east side of the street, just south of Henry Street.
Sixteen-year-old Haley Dunwell was in her upstairs bedroom when she heard the commotion outside.
I looked down and saw the whole thing happen, she said, standing on the front lawn of the home she shares with her brother, father and step-mother.
The woman refused to open the (drivers side) window, so the officer had to smash it ... and pulled her out.
As their mother was being pulled from the front seat, Dunwell said the children in the rear of the vehicle were screaming.
It was very disturbing to watch ... there was a female cop trying to take them out of the van and calm them down.
Meanwhile, the mother appeared to put up quite a fight, she said.
She was screaming too, but she wasnt saying very pleasant things. I thought she also bit an officer, Dunwell said.
The mother was handcuffed and whisked away in a police cruiser as a family friend arrived to comfort the children. A short time later, a case worker with the CAS picked up the children.
Dorothy Wardhaugh thought firefighters were responding to a call on her street when she heard the sirens.
I looked out and saw a police cruiser pull up on my front lawn ... its something you dont see everyday, she said.
Wardhaugh, who has lived on Murney Street for 60 years, shook her head as the children involved were taken away by officers.
Its so terribly sad to see children in the middle of something like this.
There were no reported injuries to either the woman or her children and, according to Sgt. Brad Lentini, there were no injuries to officers as a result of the altercation.
Police are withholding the name of the woman to protect the identity of the children.
Source: Canada Court Watch discussion board
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