Man who hit officer with car sentenced to 13-month jail term

Rosie Mullaley rmullaley@thetelegram.com
Published on March 17, 2012
Michael Shawn Sullivan of St. John's was back in provincial court Friday, when he was sentenced to 13 months in jail. - File photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A man who hit a female police officer with a car has been sentenced to a year and a month behind bars.

Michael Shawn Sullivan received the sentence in provincial court in St. John's Friday.

Judge Robert Hyslop gave the 46-year-old three months' credit for the time he's already served in custody, leaving 10 months left on his term.

The sentence also included a year's probation and a six-year driving prohibition.

Sullivan pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon (the car), driving while disqualified, evading police and three counts of breaching an undertaking. He breached the conditions by failing to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, for failing to notify police of a change of address and for driving when he was ordered not to.

He was arrested as a result of an incident that happened Jan 10.

Two officers were travelling north on Portugal Cove Road, in the east end of St. John's, when they spotted a suspicious vehicle. They ran its licence plate number through the police system and found the owner, Sullivan, had a Canada-wide prohibition on his licence.

Sullivan pulled in to Tim Hortons on Portugal Cove Road and went through the drive-thru before pulling into a parking stall.

The officers pulled up behind the vehicle, blocking him in. The female officer approached the driver's side and told him to shift his car from reverse into park and to produce a licence and insurance.

The driver allegedly hit the gas suddenly, sending the car jerking backwards. The driver did this several times, shifting the vehicle back and forth between drive and reverse to manoeuvre around the police cruiser and out of the parking space.

The officer was struck multiple times by the car, was pinned between the two vehicles before falling to the ground and briefly ending up partially under the car.

The second RNC officer, until this point still in the cruiser, jumped out and pulled his partner out from under the car. The vehicle then sped away at a dangerous speed, heading west on Higgins Line.

The injured officer received minor injuries. She was treated and returned to finish her shift that day.

The RNC tracked down Sullivan by contacting his known family, friends and associates.

Officers managed to negotiate his surrender - he agreed to meet them in a parking lot on Military Road, where he was taken into custody.

rgillingham@thetelegram.com Twitter: @TelyCourt