Crash Into Canada Station Called Targeted Attack

Nov. 14, 2011
Police in Cambridge didn't have far to go to investigate what they're calling a targeted attack after a car was driven through the front doors of their headquarters.

Police in Cambridge didn't have far to go to investigate what they're calling a targeted attack after a car was driven through the front doors of their headquarters on Maple Grove Road early Sunday.

Around 5:25 a.m., a grey Dodge Magnum was driven through double doors into the lobby of the Waterloo Regional Police headquarters.

Thirty-seven-year-old Bryan Welfred of Tavistock has been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and mischief endangering life.

"This is a deliberate act," Waterloo Regional Police Chief Matt Torigian said. "This is a police facility and (it was) targeted directly by the individual.

"Thankfully, none of our members were injured."

The four-door station wagon-style vehicle rammed through two sets of doors, knocking aside metal beams. It was driven into the lobby, coming to a stop between a wall and a vending machine beside the fingerprint waiting area. The vehicle travelled about 30 metres inside the building.

Welfred was apprehended quickly, police spokesperson Alana Holtom said.

She said the car was checked for explosives and other dangers, and when none was found building evacuation was deemed unnecessary.

"We're still investigating the relationship between this man and the police service," Holtom said.

Welfred was taken to hospital for an assessment and was then released into police custody.

Police say the car driver was acting alone and there was never any threat to other police stations.

Torigian said this was a traumatic incident for the members of the police service who were working at the time. The records branch is located beside where the car stopped, and it, like most of the first floor of the building, is entirely staffed by civilians.

Police couldn't discuss what may have motivated the attack or whether the driver had a plan once he was inside the building. The vehicle was not stolen, police said.

Police tape surrounded the sidewalk leading up to the door Sunday and workers were on the scene to fix the broken door by 8:30 a.m. Debris and bent door frames had to be removed before the car was backed out the way it came, around 10:15 a.m.

Part of the door frame was dislodged from the ceiling and glass trailed through the headquarters' lobby. Tire marks streaked the floor, tracing the vehicle's curved path through the rounded lobby.

"The damage has been extensive, clearly, and we have to do an assessment of that as well," Torigian said.

The total cost of the repairs is yet to be determined.

The shattered glass was not bulletproof, police said. But Torigian pointed out that the building was constructed prior to the terrorist attacks of the past decade that have necessitated greater security at buildings such as police stations or the region's new amalgamated courthouse that's being built in downtown Kitchener.

He said the police service will "determine what architectural designs we need to put in place." In regard to security concerns, Torigian said, "one of the important features of any police building is the need to balance public access and the need to service our community."

Copyright 2011 Metroland Media Group Ltd. All Rights Reserve.

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