GVERT arrests man accused of driving onto police vehicle hood, trying to ram pedestrians

GVERT arrests man accused of driving onto police vehicle hood, trying to ram pedestrians
Central Saanich Police
Johnathan Pocetti is shown (left). Pocetti is charged with assaulting a police officer after allegedly running over a Central Saanich police vehicle on Aug. 31. (Left)

A man accused of driving a truck onto a police vehicle in Central Saanich and days later attempting to ram three people on Dallas Road has been arrested, Victoria police say.

Johnathan Pocetti, 28, was taken into custody by officers from the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team and Victoria police, with help from police forces across the region.

Pocetti is suspected of driving a Dodge Ram truck onto the hood of a Central Saanich police vehicle on Aug. 31, after an officer tried to stop him at a gas station in the 6700-block of West Saanich Road.

Police say he fled from the scene in the truck before he was caught.

READ MORE: Law enforcement seek man who drove over police vehicle, tried to ram woman and her friends

Days later on Sept. 5, Pocetti allegedly attempted to run over a woman and her two friends.

Victoria police said the group was walking in the Dallas Road area at around 4 a.m. when a man attempted to “ram” into them with his vehicle.

Police say the man then got out of his vehicle and tried to assault one of the people with a weapon, narrowly missing them.

After identifying the suspect in both incidents as Pocetti, police said GVERT members conducted a “high-risk” vehicle arrest just before 10 p.m. Tuesday night at Bay and Blanshard streets.

Officers used a distraction device “which made a loud ‘booming’ sound” and Pocetti was taken into custody.

“This man was allegedly involved in a series of dangerous incidents in which a police officer and members of the public narrowly avoided harm,” Victoria Police Chief Del Manak said in a statement.

“I am proud of the work all of our officers did as we worked with regional partners to investigate the incidents and identify, locate and ultimately arrest the suspect.”

Central Saanich Police Chief Ian Lawson said the department was grateful its officer wasn’t injured in the Aug. 31 incident and was “relieved” Pocetti was taken into custody.

Pocetti has been charged with assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, dangerous operation of a conveyance, flight from police and mischief to property over $5,000 in relation to the Aug. 31 incident in Central Saanich.

He is charged with two counts of assault with a weapon and dangerous operation of a conveyance linked to the Sept. 5 attack.


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