Winnipeg man spends New Year's Eve in police car after failed taxicab escape

07 Jan 2019 | Canada
Winnipeg man spends New Year's Eve in police car after failed taxicab escape

A Winnipeg man is starting 2019 with 70 charges, largely relating to robberies and stolen goods, after a dramatic failed taxicab escape just minutes before the ball dropped on New Year's Eve 2018. 

Police were tipped off that a suspect in several armed robberies was leaving a building on Erin Street, just north of Portage Avenue, at 11:47 p.m. on Dec. 31. 

Air1, the police helicopter, watched the suspect and another man get into a cab, which police stopped between Agnes Street and McGee Street. The man then got out and ran, but police ran after him and caught up with him at Portage Avenue and Langside Street. 

"I do know that this individual spent their New Year's in the back of a cruiser car," said police spokesperson Const. Jay Murray on Sunday. 

Police seized less than a gram of cocaine from the man. With continued investigation, police now believe he's a suspect in numerous armed robberies that took place in December. A gun was used in several of them. 

Among 70 charges against the 21-year-old Winnipeg man are nine counts of armed robbery with a prohibited firearm, three counts of armed robbery with a gun, one count of break and enter and two counts of theft of motor vehicle. Police also believe he was wearing a disguise in 10 of the robberies. 

He remains in police custody. 

A second passenger in the taxi was released without charges.