Ticketed for using cellphone while driving, upset man rams police cars at Winnipeg headquarters

Cars are taped off after a truck driver hit five police cars outside police headquarters in Winnipeg on Monday, July 20, 2015. Police have laid a dozen charges against a 24-year-old man in the ramming of police cars in front of Winnipeg headquarters.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Lambert

WINNIPEG - Winnipeg police have charged a 24-year-old courier following a one-man rampage outside police headquarters that was, according to authorities, an angry reaction to a traffic ticket.

Police allege the accused, Wayne Daniel Rennie, was so upset Monday after being ticketed for using a cellphone that he drove about 15 blocks to police headquarters, deliberately rammed five parked police cars with his truck, then sped off toward Portage La Prairie some 80 kilometres away.

"It boggles our mind," Const. Jason Michalyshen said Tuesday.

"I think everyone in the community that observed this ... are all scratching their heads and going 'Wow. What an extreme thing for someone to do and put themselves and other people at risk because of a Highway Traffic Act ticket'."

Rennie, who remained in custody Tuesday, had not yet entered pleas to a dozen charges. A court date had not yet been set.

Police said Rennie was pulled over for using his cellphone and given a ticket at 8:45 a.m. At 11 a.m., witnesses reported seeing a truck stop on a busy street outside police headquarters and deliberately back up into a row of parked police cars three times.

Rennie's boss — Bill Murray, whose name is on the truck — said Monday that Rennie had called in, upset about getting the ticket.

Murray said Rennie made two more pickups for the courier company and then "went downtown and played smash-up derby." Murray continued to talk with Rennie over the two-way radio as the day progressed, he said.

Damage to the police vehicles included dented doors, broken widows and smashed mirrors.

The truck was seen heading out of the city, westward on the Trans-Canada Highway. Police allege that Rennie at one point swerved into oncoming traffic, aiming head-on at a police cruiser that was driving in the opposite direction.

The two officers in the vehicle "took immediate evasive action" to avoid a collision, Michalyshen said.

Winnipeg police and RCMP cars pursued the truck, which was eventually stopped by a spike belt.

Rennie had not yet entered pleas to charges that include mischief, dangerous driving and assaulting a peace officer with a weapon. The last charge is the alleged swerve toward the oncoming police vehicle.

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