A St. John’s man is facing 14 charges following an incident Tuesday night in which one police officer was injured and another fired a bullet at the suspect as he fled in an SUV.
Justin Michael Chipman, 26, appeared in Provincial Court in
St. John’s late Wednesday afternoon. He is accused of assaulting four police officers with a vehicle, resulting in four counts of assaulting a peace officer and four more of assault with a weapon. Police also charged Chipman with two counts of theft under $5,000, one count of theft exceeding $5,000 in relation to a motor vehicle, property damage, dangerous driving and breach of a probation order.
Prosecutor Jason House told Judge Pamela Goulding the Crown opposed Chipman’s release. The accused will be back in court this afternoon for a potential bail hearing.
Duty counsel lawyer Jane Fitzpatrick requested that video equipment be made available this afternoon, as police told her there is video footage from Tuesday night’s events.
Plainclothes Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers were doing surveillance work Tuesday night at Memorial University’s Field House parking lot when they spotted someone breaking into a vehicle. An attempt was made to arrest the suspect, but the person managed to get in an SUV and escape.
One of the officers sustained a minor injury as the suspect fled the scene in the vehicle.
RNC Chief Robert Johnston told reporters Tuesday night that one of the officers felt threatened and fired a shot. The RCMP has been tasked with investigating the RNC officer’s use of the firearm.
The SUV was discovered on Keane Place engulfed in flames. The accused was later arrested in the area of Rotary Drive. According to a court document, that is the street Chipman lives on.
The accused has an extensive criminal record, having been convicted on more than 60 charges relating to incidents covering a six-year period from 2006 to 2012.
In April 2012, Chipman was sentenced to 14 months in prison on more than two dozen charges, including fraud, theft, uttering threats, possessing property obtained by crime and dangerous driving. He had several prior convictions for theft.
Prior to Wednesday, Chipman was facing charges in relation to two separate incidents. He is accused of possessing property obtained by crime in relation to a Jan. 21 incident and was jointly charged with Aleshia Dawn O’Regan, 21, for allegedly stealing goods from a Dominion grocery store in Conception Bay South on Jan. 22.