herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Garda hurt as car rammed during bungled early morning crime spree

A garda car is taken away after being rammed in Glasnevin by bungling criminals
A garda car is taken away after being rammed in Glasnevin by bungling criminals

Two men have been arrested after ramming a garda car and injuring a garda during a bungled early morning crime spree in the capital.

A garda officer was injured after his patrol car was rammed by two criminals on a bungling crime spree.

The incident occurred early this morning after the culprits attempted to break into homes across north Dublin.

The drama began around 5am when a group of men tried to break into a house in Whitehall but failed to gain entry.

But they gained the attention of gardai when they continued unsuccessfully to burgle houses, steal cars and break into a shop and were eventually cornered in a Glasnevin estate.

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A witness told the Herald that as gardai blocked the entrance to the cul-de-sac, the black four-wheel-drive vehicle had time to perform a two-point turn and face out of the estate.

A garda officer suffered a suspected broken hand in the resulting chaos.

“Everything stopped for a brief moment. The black 4X4 was facing out of the estate but just sat there for a moment,” said neighbour Frank Cullinane.

“It looked to me like they waited for the gardai to get out of their cars, and as they moved towards the 4X4 it revved up and sped towards them and they had to jump out of the way,” he added.

“It then drove at the garda cars and rammed one of them as it drove between it and a private car, and a garda got injured in the hand.”

“Nobody knew what was going on,” Mr Cullinane explained.

“I don’t think these guys had any idea that they were near the Commissioner’s house, but there was certainly an air of danger while the whole incident was going on,” he added.

“There were a lot of gardai out on the road,” he said.

The gang first drew attention to themselves when they tried to break into the house in Whitehall at 5am.

They failed to get into the house but minutes later tried to steal a car in the River Gardens area of Whitehall but were disturbed by the owner and left the scene.

Within minutes the same group were stopped from entering a shop by a security guard on Shanowen Road in nearby Santry.

Gardai alerted to all the incidents were patrolling the area when then spotted the black four-wheel drive vehicle acting suspiciously at Hillcrest Park in nearby Glasnevin and signalled the vehicle to stop.

But the gang drove off at speed and were followed by the gardai.

In Glasnevin the garda car was rammed by the gang and the garda injured.

The 4X4 then sped from the scene, but in a follow-up operation gardai in Ashbourne intercepted the vehicle and two men in their 20s with Dublin addresses were arrested.

They are being questioned at Ashbourne garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act where they can be held for 24 hours before being charged or released.

Punctured

The garda car that was damaged in the ramming was later towed from the scene.

It had damage to its passenger-side wing and the front passenger side wheel was also punctured.

The 4X4 vehicle has also been towed away from the scene where it was stopped in Ashbourne and will undergo forensic examination.

Gardai are also examining if the gang were involved in any earlier crimes or attempted crimes in the north Dublin area earlier in the morning.

CCTV footage will be examined to try and trace the movements of the gang before the first alarm was raised at 5am.

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