Erratic driver strikes pedestrians, multiple vehicles

A Ponoka man is facing multiple offences, including forcible confinement and assault with a weapon, after an erratic driver struck pedestrians and multiple vehicles in north Red Deer on Wednesday.

A Ponoka man is facing multiple offences, including forcible confinement and assault with a weapon, after an erratic driver struck pedestrians and multiple vehicles in north Red Deer on Wednesday.

Red Deer City RCMP received the first dangerous driving complaint at about 4:30 p.m., and calls from the alarmed public continued for the next 20 minutes.

Police heard a male motorist was driving erratically along a number of city streets, including Holt, 61st and 63rd Streets, 50th, 53rd and 58th Avenues. The suspect allegedly struck three vehicles as well as two pedestrians and placed many other people at risk, said Cpl. Leanne Molzahn of City RCMP.

One pedestrian was hit after exiting a vehicle that was previously struck by the same erratic driver, said Molzahn.

In both cases, the pedestrians sustained minor injuries.

There was substantial property damage to the three vehicles that were crashed into, as well as to a broken fence.

Through the investigation, the police learned the erratic driver had allegedly been holding a female passenger in his vehicle against her will for part of the time he had been driving dangerously.

The victim accused the suspect of threatening her before she was able to escape.

As a result of the public’s assistance, police were able to locate the suspect vehicle and take the unwilling driver into custody.

Joseph Paul Donovan, 34, was charged with numerous Criminal Code offences, including assaulting a police officer, forcible confinement, assault with a weapon, uttering threats, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.

He will appear in Red Deer provincial court today.