The man who pleaded guilty to backing his five-ton truck into five police cars outside the Public Safety Building last summer has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years behind bars.
Wayne Rennie will also have to pay Manitoba Public Insurance $66,269 for the cost of the repairs.
Five police vehicles damaged right outside police headquarters this morning. Police looking for suspect vehicle. pic.twitter.com/JcRoWgk5V7
— 680 CJOB (@680CJOB) July 20, 2015
At his sentencing in December, court heard around 8:45 am on July 20, 2015, Rennie was given a ticket for distracted driving after recording notes about the deliveries he was supposed to make on his phone.
The Constable that wrote the ticket noted he was upset and told her “now you’ll see what I have to do”.
Two-and-a-half hours later, Rennie methodically backed up his truck up into a row of police cars parked on Princess Street outside the Public Safety Building.
A witness told police Rennie appeared to be happy, with a big smile on his face.
He then fled from police, heading west through the city and onto the Trans-Canada. Near Headingley, he drove at a police cruiser, which had to quickly swerve out of the way.
Court heard Rennie continued down the Trans-Canada west, once driving in the wrong lanes, causing drivers to have to get out of his way.
He avoided some spike belts and stop sticks set up by police to stop him. But just past Portage near the Diversion Bridge, he went into the ditch and wound up parked across the eastbound lanes, where officers surrounded the truck.
When in custody, he said his plan was to drive until he ran out of gas, thinking police might run out first.
Rennie pleaded guilty to mischief over $5,000, assault peace officer with a weapon and flight from police.
When given the chance to speak, Rennie told the judge, “I’m embarrassed by my actions. What I did was stupidity. I apologize to police for putting them at risk and the same as (sic) the citizens,” he said.
When delivering his sentence, provincial court Judge Dale Schille says he didn’t believe the defense lawyer’s characterization that Rennie lost his temper.
“That is in my view a gross understatement of what occurred,” he said.
Schille said he did not believe Rennie acted impulsively because of what he said to the ticketing officer and how long he held onto his anger before acting out.
He said given the size of Rennie’s vehicle and his manner of driving, it’s lucky no one was hurt and he is not to be facing more severe charges.
Rennie was also given a two-year driving ban and 18 months of probation.
Schille also encouraged him to seek psychological treatment to find out if there is a mental health issue at play.