A MAN and woman have been arrested after a dramatic police chase spanning from Uralla to Armidale.
Jarrod Mathew Halls, 31, was allegedly unlicensed when he tried to evade officers, and sped off in a chase that saw police shut the New England Highway in an attempt to stop the Blue Holden Barina.
Close to two dozen officers were deployed to search an area from Uralla up to the Armidale Airport and east to Kelly’s Plains late on Wednesday afternoon after officers were forced to abandon an earlier pursuit because of safety fears.
“This was an incredibly dangerous pursuit that put the safety of the community and other motorists at risk and as such police were forced to terminate the pursuit,” New England Detective Sergeant Matt Crotty said.
This was an incredibly dangerous pursuit that put the safety of the community and other motorists at risk and as such police were forced to terminate the pursuit.New England Detective Sergeant Matt Crotty
“Several other local motorists and pedestrians flagged down police to alert the officers to the Barina’s location because of the dangerous and erratic manner of driving.”
Police allege a female passenger, 25, first fuelled up the car with Halls at Jennings, near the Queensland border at 12.40pm and drove off.
Police claim Halls was then clocked at 101km per hour on the New England Highway at Tenterfield shortly after. Officers, under lights and sirens, tired to catch up to the car but did not engage a pursuit as the vehicle continued at a speed and in a dangerous manner, estimated to be 100 in a 50km per hour zone in the town.
About 5pm, Uralla police spotted the same car on Hill Street.
“Police initiated a pursuit that went through a number of residential streets in the Uralla township at which time the vehicle drove in a manner dangerous, crossing to the incorrect side of the road and driving towards oncoming traffic,” Detective Crotty said.
“Due to the extremely dangerous manner of driving, police terminated the pursuit.”
Several locals then flagged down officers to alert them to the Barina’s location.
“The Barina drove down a dead-end road on Racecourse Road in Uralla and officers, who were searching for the vehicle, stopped in the middle of the road and activated their lights and sirens, and the vehicle continued and attempted to drive around the police vehicle and in doing so collided with the front bumper of the police vehicle,” Detective Crotty said.
“That police vehicle encountered minor damage and the vehicle of interest continued, and was then sighted at speed on the New England Highway towards Armidale.
The Barina drove down a dead-end road on Racecourse Road in Uralla and officers, who were searching for the vehicle, stopped in the middle of the road and activated their lights and sirens, and the vehicle continued and attempted to drive around the police vehicle and in doing so collided with the front bumper of the police vehicle.New England Detective Sergeant Matt Crotty
“Police made attempts to shut down the highway in an effort to stop the Barina before it turned off, down Platform Road.”
Armidale detectives, the Target Action Group (TAG), highway patrol and local police, who had been called to back-up officers, scoured the area, before spotting the Barina, which collided with a fence and crashed into a table drain on Post Way.
Halls, and a 25-year-old woman, were pulled from the car and arrested.
Halls is facing five charges including police pursuit Skye’s Law, dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception, resisting arrest and custody of a knife.
He was refused bail and fronted Armidale Local Court on Thursday where he was again denied bail. Halls will return to court next week.
His passenger will be issued a future court attendance notice for fraud for the fail-to-pay at Jennings.