A former Red Deer man was given a six-month conditional sentence for his role in a raucous car chase through town that was like something out of a Hollywood movie.
Ryan Otto Shagory, 21, was also banned from driving for 15 months in Red Deer provincial court after pleading guilty last month to dangerous driving for his role in the wild bumper car-like ride through the downtown around 1:40 p.m. May 12, 2008.
Crown prosecutor Maurice Collard said Shagory was behind the wheel of a mid-sized car with three passengers when a SUV was spotted being driven by another person who had been involved in the apparent kidnapping of a friend previously.
Shagory slammed his car into the SUV several times and the SUV driver returned the favour. At one point, the vehicles came to a stop and one of Shagory’s passengers smashed out the window of the SUV with a baseball bat.
The two vehicles blew through a number of red lights as the chase and fender bending continued and phone calls poured into police from alarmed drivers and pedestrians.
“They travelled quite a distance through the community of Red Deer,” said Collard. The two vehicles battled from Ross Street and Gaetz Avenue to as far as Bower Place Shopping Centre until police caught up to them and had their weapons drawn in a “hard take-down situation.”
The Crown called for a six-month conditional sentence, including two months of house arrest and a two-year driving prohibition.
Defence lawyer Akram Attia said Shagory comes from a good family and has moved to Edmonton, where he lives with his parents, has stayed out of trouble and is apprenticing as a mechanic.
A driving ban would jeopardize his new job and suggested a longer conditional sentence rather than losing his licence.
Judge David Plosz said considering how long Shagory was driving dangerously through the middle of the city on an early spring afternoon, a driving ban was a must.
“It was just a disaster waiting to happen. It’s outstanding, quite frankly, that nothing serious happened as far as injury or death to someone.”
Plosz admonished Shagory for chasing after the supposed kidnapper instead of calling police.
“Vigilante justice isn’t what prevails in this community.” The nature of the kidnapping remains murky. No arrests were made or charges laid, the court heard.
Shagory apologized for the incident. “I’m sorry for everything I’ve done in the city,” he said.
Plosz said Shagory must spend the first two months under house arrest and can’t leave his home except for work, church or other specific occasions included in his order.
He can leave for two hours a week to get groceries. For the next four months, he must obey a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
He must perform 40 hours of community work and during his conditional sentence, is prohibited from using alcohol or drugs and can’t possess anything that can be used as a weapon.