A Lacombe police officer was lucky to escape without serious injuries after he was hit by a fleeing vehicle on Tuesday.
Lacombe Police Service said they were alerted about 4:30 p.m. of suspicious activity in the English Estates area of town.
When police arrived, a man was seen trying to siphon gas into a jerry can. A woman was waiting nearby inside an SUV.
A check showed that the vehicle was stolen and the officer went to arrest the suspects.
Seeing him coming, the man jumped in the back of the SUV and the woman behind the wheel stepped on the gas.
The SUV hit the police officer and narrowly missed colliding with a second police cruiser that had just arrived on scene.
It appeared the officer might have broken his shoulder and elbow, but he was released later in the evening with less serious injuries.
“The SUV fled Lacombe in an extremely dangerous manner, prompting numerous complaints from the public between Lacombe and Blackfalds,” say police.
Police tracked the vehicle to a rural property near Aspelund Road in Lacombe County. The vehicle smashed through metal gates before both suspects fled on foot. The pair tried unsuccessfully to steal two other vehicles in the yard of a rural residence before running off.
Sylvan Lake and Blackfalds RCMP were called in to help, along with a dog team, but the suspects could not be found.
Later investigation showed the SUV had been stolen four days earlier in Okotoks. Other stolen property was recovered in and around the vehicle.
Lacombe Police Chief Steve Murray took a dim view of the suspects’ behaviour.
“This callous disregard for the lives and safety of both police officers and the community by criminals determined to steal property is alarming and we will continue to work with our policing partners to identify and apprehend these persons to prevent further such acts from occurring.”