There’s always a thin line between being caught in the cross-fires and plunging head-on to it. That was the situation two men from Ottawa found themselves in and they chose the latter.
Riding in a 2008 Porsche 997, Ryan O’Connor and Matt Speza – the brother of the Ottawa Senators’ Jason Speza – chased down a man who had just sexually assaulted a distraught woman.
The two men were driving around the streets of Ottawa when a woman jumped in front of them and asked for help after being sexually assaulted. O’Connor and Speza then told the woman to get in the car after which they chased down the suspect along a number of residential areas in the city, even going at speeds in excess of 170 kmh.
The chase finally ended when the assailant ran into a police barricade along Highway 416.
Though successful in chasing down the suspect, O’Conner and Speza received mixed reactions regarding their high-speed chase. On one side were people who thought the boys’ deed was heroic, while on the flip side, others thought it was extremely reckless.
For its part, the local Ottawa police said that the two men will not be charged because they were under police supervision the whole time although he did say that the dispatcher should have told them to stop chasing when the cops began to get involved.
According to Ottawa Police Chief Vern White: "Our operator did not do what he should have done [which was to tell them to stop chasing] .... Thank God nothing happened.”
"When they put her in the back of the car, that was heroism," White added. "What happened after wasn’t."
O’Connor understood the potential backlash of their actions but he also said that they wouldn’t have done it any other way. "There are two sides to every story. I can see their point: We’re very lucky we didn’t have a head-on (collision). But if we did nothing, people would have said, `you should have followed him.’ It’s a lose-lose," he said.