Man under arrest after destructive crime spree in Guelph

A dramatic series of events in Guelph on Tuesday left a trail of destruction throughout the city and ended in the downtown core with a loud crash.

“The noise alone shook everybody,” said witness Eric Grandbois.

Grandbois was working at Sativa Bliss on Wyndham Street North on Tuesday evening when he saw the incident unfold.

“A car comes out and actually T-bones a car, right in front. We see the person come out of the car and he starts to run,” he explained.

Guelph police say the man responsible was driving a stolen white SUV and caused at least five crashes.

The most serious crash happened near Norfolk and Cork Streets, sending a mother and her two kids to hospital with minor injuries.

Police say the day of crime began much earlier, around 11 a.m., when they allege the same man tried to steal a bike from the front lawn of an east-end home and attacked the owner with a noxious spray.

It wasn't until 5 p.m. the police chase began after the man reversed into a light post at the Guelph Public Library and then caused the crash at Norfolk and Cork Streets.

The SUV then collided with two parked vehicles on Cork Street, before running a stop sign at Wyndham Street North and colliding with another vehicle. The final crash happening where Wyndham Street meets Quebec Street.

“The male suspect then fled the SUV and ran a short distance on Wyndham Street where he was detained by two passersby,” said Scott Tracey, media relations coordinator for Guelph police.

Officers arrived on the scene shortly after and took him into custody.

All of this unfolded about an hour before people filled the streets of downtown Guelph for a vigil to remember the Indigenous children found buried near a residential school in B.C.

“A very scary incident for downtown. It’s obviously a busy part of the city especially at that time of day, and on Tuesday with the vigil shaping up at the times,” added Tracey.

Police say officers found $450 worth of purple fentanyl on the 32-year-old suspect. He’s facing a long list of charges including impaired driving, robbery and assault with a weapon.