02/06/2003

Man charged with injuring police officers in car chase

A 21-year-old Belfast man has been released on bail after appearing in court today in connection with an incident where two policemen were dragged along the road by a speeding car in Co Down at the weekend.

Jonathan McQuillan from Mica Drive in the Beechmount area of west Belfast appeared at a Downpatrick court on Monday charged with causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving. He also faced six other charges including failing to stop and driving without insurance.

The incident involving Mr McQuillan occurred shortly before 1am on Sunday when officers stopped an Audi car with four people on board.

While police dealt with the driver he ran to his car and drove off at speed, dragging the two policemen with him after they tried to apprehend him.

One of the officers was thrown from the car sustaining a leg injury. He was later treated in hospital and released.

The second officer was dragged further along the road until he too was thrown clear. He sustained multiple injuries including a head injury, but was later released from hospital.

Other officers at the scene deployed a stinger device in an attempt to stop the Audi, however only one wheel was deflated and the driver drove on towards Dundrum. Eventually the vehicle was stopped close to the town of Drumaness.

By this time there were no other occupants in the car and police detained the driver.

Mr McQuillan was released on bail, on condition that he observed a curfew, did not consume any alcohol and reported to a local police station twice a week.

(MB)

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