Mobility scooter fugitive evades police in low-speed chase

The speeding double amputee says he didn’t have time to stop because he needed to get his tea ready

Scooter chase: Charlie Durham avoids the police car which was pursuing him. Photograph: YouTube

Scooter chase: Charlie Durham avoids the police car which was pursuing him. Photograph: YouTube

 

New Zealand police embarked on what may be the world’s slowest chase while attempting to stop a man fleeing them on a mobility scooter.

The slow-motion pursuit took place on Wednesday in the small town of Timaru on the east coast of the South Island.

Police spotted double amputee Charlie Durham (60) driving down the footpath of a suburban street at what they deemed dangerous speeds.

Giving chase, the red police car cut across traffic to try to stop the man – who fled across two lanes to take refuge on the opposite footpath.

In a statement, New Zealand police said: “The rider refused to stop and actively avoided the police patrol car. This continued for a period of time with the officer trying to stop the rider multiple times, and the scooter rider actively avoiding the officer’s attempts to stop him.”

The police crossed on to the wrong side of the road and tried to block the man as he was crossing a side road. Instead the man on the scooter swerved around them – as people filming the incident shouted “Go old man, go!”

Police said: “Ultimately the safe use of the mobility scooter by the rider was the aim of the officer.”

Charlie Durham said he thought the police car was an ice cream van trying to sell him an ice cream
Charlie Durham said he thought the police car was an ice cream van trying to sell him an ice cream

Durham received two infringement tickets, with a total fine of NZ$250 (€144); one for operating a mobility scooter “inconsiderately” and another for failing to stop for an officer.

Durham told TVNZ he thought the police car was an ice cream van trying to sell him an ice cream – which he didn’t want.

He also needed to get home to put his tea on, otherwise his whole evening would have been “stuffed up”.

“I thought he was causing himself more harm and other people on the road than what he was to me,” Durham said of the officer’s decision to give chase. “There’s all sorts of things the police could be doing rather than chasing me,” he said.

Durham lost his legs in two, unrelated accidents, TVNZ reported, and said perhaps the police would consider “putting him in jail” to give him a holiday after the incident went viral in New Zealand. – Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.