Teen fined for high-speed Police chase
A teenager who led police on a high-speed chase through the west end has been fined more than $3,000 after spending nearly two months in custody.
Kinn Crippen, 19, pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, failing to stop for Police, assaulting two officers and causing wilful damage to a Police motorcycle — all connected to an incident on February 4.
He denied the offences during an earlier appearance in Magistrates' Court and was granted $10,000 bail with a like surety, but he has remained in custody since February 5 because he was unable to perfect bail.
The court heard that Crippen was spotted travelling west at high speed on Middle Road, Southampton, by Police stationed on Homestead Lane.
Officers began to follow Crippen, signalling for him to stop, but he continued.
An officer pulled alongside Crippen, shouting at him to pull over, but he shook his head, turning on to South Whale Estate. At Morrison Place, a dead end, Crippen circled a small roundabout and headed back towards Middle Road.
One officer got off his vehicle at the entrance of the estate and stood in the road, signalling Crippen to stop, but the teenager allegedly drove straight at the officer, who was forced to dive out of the way.
The high-speed chase continued onto Lukes Pond Road, Wadson's Farm land, the Railway Trail and Middle Road, with other vehicles and pedestrians forced to take evasive action to avoid collisions.
When Crippen turned on to Tribe Road No 5, he struck the front wheel of a Police motorcycle. While the officer was knocked to the ground, the teen raced on to the Railway Trail. The chase ended on Overplus Lane, where Crippen struck the front wheel of a second motorcycle before colliding head-on with a third.
He reportedly tried to flee on foot over a nearby wall, but was wrestled to the ground by Police and tasered.
Defence lawyer Vaughn Caines said the incident was out of character for his client, who is a student.
Mr Caines said that some time before, Crippen had been threatened by someone with a blade. Just before the Police chase, the teenager saw that person riding behind him and began to panic.
“That was the mindset on that day,” Mr Caines said. “He was concerned for his person. He wasn't thinking rationally.” But Magistrate Archibald Warner questioned the story, saying that in those circumstances it would have made sense for Crippen to stop.
“More than that, he should have been glad to see the Police,” Mr Warner added.
Crippen repeatedly apologised to the officers for his “stupid actions”. Mr Warner noted Crippen's guilty pleas and his lack of previous offences, sentencing him to ten days in prison — starting on February 5 — for each count of assaulting the officers.
He was fined $1,000 for each of the two assaults, $500 for causing wilful damage, $1,000 for driving in a dangerous manner and $300 for failing to stop for police.
He was also ordered to pay $190 in restitution for the damage to the Police motorcycle and banned from driving all vehicles for 18 months.