Don’t steal cop cars

In what was one of the more bizarre police incidents this year (at least of the ones we hear about), an Alberta man who managed to steal a traffic cruiser in Winnipeg while handcuffed and smash it into a concrete wall while kicking at a cop will spend the next 3 1/2 years as a guest of the federal government.

In fact, the total sentence Torben Timothy Campbell received for the April 23 incident was four years — but that includes the penalty for a separate incident where an RCMP officer was tossed to the road after he reached inside Campbell’s car to grab the keys during a traffic stop.

Anyhow.

Apr. 23, 2010: Campbell is sitting in the driver’s seat of a rental car in an Alexander Avenue back lane being, uumm… pleasured by one of Winnipeg’s many sex-trade workers.

When the cops — riding in a traffic cruiser — pull in behind the vehicle and catch Campbell and the woman in the act, they approach the car and ask him his name.

He gives them a fake one.

In order to sort out the story, Campbell is handcuffed with his hands behind his back and placed in the unmarked. As police talk with the prostitute, Campbell manages to slip the handcuffs underneath his legs so they’re now somewhat usable in the front of his body.

He climbs through the divider-less section between the front and rear of the police car and begins to drive off.

One of the officers manages to jump into the passenger seat to try and stop him – for which he’s treated to kicks.

The car travels about 150 metres until it smashes into a concrete fence.

When the officers yank Campbell out of the car, he continues to struggle. One of them puts a baton under his throat and begins to squeeze.

“If you don’t stop now, I’ll squeeze so hard your eyes will pop out,” the officer says.

Campbell gives up, but he keeps on some bizarre tirade even while being treated at HSC. At one point, he makes some reference to having killed as many as 40 people.

It’s later determined that he’s high as a kite, and becomes “semi-comotose” during a videotaped police interview.

The drug: crack cocaine.

Just a few days before getting nabbed in Winnipeg, Campbell was pulled over by an RCMP officer on the highway. He told the patrol cop he was headed from Alberta to Kenora. A check of his ID doesn’t add up.

A CPIC check on PROS shows Campbell’s in a vehicle registered under someone else’s name while under a court condition to not be in a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.

The officer goes back to him and asks him to turn the car off.

“I don’t think so,” Campbell says.

The officer asks nicely one more time and then reaches into the vehicle to wrest the keys from the ignition.

Campbell accelerates, sending the Mountie to the roadway and speeds off at 130 km/h.

The above two events are Campbell’s 4th and 5th dangerous driving convictions, respectively.

-30-

—above from court transcript of sentencing hearing Nov. 22, 2010 in front of Judge Lynn Stannard.

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