Police were investigating on-scene at the U of O Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Hanna Methot.
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minor injuries reported, alcohol or drugs suspected to be involved 

Ottawa Police arrested a 36-year-old man after he allegedly sped down  Cumberland Street, Laurier Avenue and pedestrian walkway on University Private between the University Centre and the Residence Complex in a stolen vehicle.

Law enforcement and paramedics were on campus Wednesday afternoon after the chase. Witnesses told the Fulcrum on the scene the car was a beige Chrysler caravan with a black stripe.

Several cars were damaged on scene.

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) confirmed that no charges have been laid at this time but that there is an investigation underway, and on Twitter said that the driveR is in police custody. An OPS representative commented on the investigation to the Fulcrum, saying that there doesn’t seem to be anything “outwardly nefarious” about the case.

A press release from the OPS says that a number of collisions were reported around the same time in ByWard Market, Lees Avenue and Sandy Hill, and that the suspect will be held for a bail hearing on March 21, 2019.

In an interview with the Fulcrum at the scene, U of O president Jacques Frémont said that “these things should never happen,” but that he’s glad the university “secured the campus last September with the big flower pots so that everybody has to walk around … that was the point, to prevent something like this.”

Frémont said he is happy to see that no one is injured, and that it shows we have to be “very careful” on campus.

One witness, Serena Williams, told the Fulcrum that she saw a man waving his arms out the side of the passenger seat window. She said she thought that “he was going to come onto the sidewalk and mow (them) all down, but then he hit the turn onto Marie Curie.”

Student and Student Federation of the University of Ottawa executive Paige Booth described the scene as “a wave of students … running towards the UCU to go inside.” She recounted that because the car raced around the UCU towards Montpetit Hall, many who came inside the UCU began to run outside again.

“People were asking what was happening, and saying ‘I don’t know, run.'”

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Below are the confirmed sightings of the van on the U of O campus

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Ottawa Police Central Criminal Investigations Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5166. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by downloading the Ottawa Police app.

Please consult the following services if you are in a mental health crisis or in need of counselling after today’s events. 

On-campus (free or covered by healthcare plan)…

  • University of Ottawa Health Services (UOHS), 100 Marie-Curie Private
    • Offers counselling, psychiatric services, individual, couple or family therapy, access to psycho-educational groups and referrals to specialists off-campus
  • Student Academic Success Service (SASS), 100 Marie-Curie Private
    • Offers individual counselling, peer-counselling, workshops, online therapy and group counselling using new stepped model; referrals
  • Pride Centre, 85 University Private
    • Offers mentoring services and one-on-one consultation services
  • Faculty mentoring centres (locations differ by faculty)
    • Specialized mentoring services catered to the needs of students in each faculty

—With files from Hanna Methot and Matt Gergyek.