Scooter tried to ram Garda car

A rider on a stolen scooter tried to ram one of two Garda cars giving chase in what is believed to be the first joyriding incident of its kind in this country.

The bizarre cat-and-mouse chase lasted about 15 minutes on the night of November 19 and took place through housing estates in Limerick City.

After trying to ram the Garda car, the scooter driver and his pillion passenger had three near head-on collisions with other cars and swerved off roads to speed along footpaths.

At one point during the chase, the scooter was driven at a patrol car, narrowly missing it.

Insp Paul Reidy told Limerick District Court yesterday that a Garda patrol car came across the red stolen scooter travelling at speed in O’Malley Park at around 11pm. The gardaí activated their siren and blue flashing lights.

A chase ensued during which a second patrol car joined in, with siren and flashing lights also activated.

The red scooter did a dramatic turn after entering a cul-de-sac and at this point gardaí identified the driver as known criminal Robert O’Donnell, aged 19, from Clarina Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston. He was accompanied by a pillion passenger.

The chase continued along Collins Avenue, Careys Park, Hyde Rd, Childers Rd, Rosbrien Road, Ballinacurra Gardens, and Garryglass Avenue, before ending at Clarina Avenue where O’Donnell and his accomplice abandoned the scooter. After another chase on foot, O’Donnell was arrested.

Insp Reidy said that as gardaí pursued the scooter at speed, it was involved in three near misses with oncoming cars and travelled on footpaths through a number of estates.

O’Donnell has pleaded guilty to four counts of dangerously driving the stolen scooter, two counts of failing to stop, and driving without insurance or licence.

Judge Mary Larkin adjourned the case until Tuesday as O’Donnell, with 22 previous convictions, has a number of suspended jail sentences hanging over him.

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