Shocking moment enraged motorist mows down police officer while trying to flee Sainsbury’s car park in attack which ‘bore some similarities’ to killing of PC Andrew Harper – as he is jailed for more than six years
- Damien Price, 30, mowed down Sgt Alex Howden at a Sainsbury’s in Exeter
- Sgt Howden suffered a broken leg, along with head injuries after hit head on
- Price had already attacked and reversed into a couple in a spate of road rage
- Shocked onlookers managed to stop Price fleeing, before he bit another officer
- He was jailed for six-and-a-half years after admitting GBH and dangerous driving
Shocking footage shows the moment an enraged motorist mowed down a police officer as he tried to flee a Sainsbury’s car park in an attack which ‘bore some similarities,’ to the death of PC Andrew Harper.
Damien Price, 30, has been jailed for more than six years after launching an attack which started when he reversed into a couple during a row over a one-way system at the supermarket’s branch in Pinhoe, Exeter, in March.
He then drove into Sergeant Alex Howden as the officer tried to stop him fleeing the busy car park – sending him flying into the air and breaking his leg.
Price was pulled from his vehicle and detained by members of the public before he was arrested on March 12 this year.
He also bit another officer on the arm while in the back of a police car.
Damien Price mowed down Sgt Alex Howden during a road rage attack in Exeter earlier this year, leaving the officer with a broken leg
Much of the incident was caught on camera – with shocking dashcam footage released by Devon and Cornwall Police to highlight the dangers faced by officers.
Price, of Russet Avenue, Exeter, admitted two counts of dangerous driving and causing Sgt Howden grievous bodily harm.
He pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm to a man and the attempted bodily harm of a woman. Both victims, who are husband and wife, are aged in their 60s.
Price also admitted biting PC Nicholas Weston twice on the bicep.
He was jailed for six-and-a-half years by a judge at Exeter Crown Court. Price will also serve five years on licence and be banned from driving for 10 years.
Price had entered the car park in his Ford Fiesta when he encountered a Nissan heading in the wrong direction on the one-way system outside the store.
Shocking footage showed the moment Price mowed down the officer trying to flee the supermarket car park. Members of the public managed to pull him from his car and he was later arrested
He shouted out of his window at the couple in the car and refused to move to allow them to pass, only for the vehicle to manoeuvre around him.
An enraged Price then reversed at speed, got out of his car, took the keys from the ignition of the Nissan and threw them away.
He then punched the man in the face through the driver’s-side window before getting back into his Fiesta and driving off.
Price the stopped and reversed at speed into the couple’s car – knocking the husband and wife, who had exited their vehicle, to the floor. Both suffered cuts and bruises.
He then sped around the car park and came to a halt near recycling bins as members of the public tried to stop him leaving.
Sgt Howden was heading back to the force’s HQ when initial reports of a hit-and-run in the Sainsbury’s car park came.
He was the closest unit and within minutes of arriving at the scene was lying injured on the ground.
Sgt Howden had asked Price for his keys before the offender started his engine and drove off.
Price picked up speed, hit a shopping trolley and then smashed into the officer as he motioned for the driver to stop.
Speaking afterwards, Sgt Howden, a police officer of nearly 22 years, said: ‘I don’t hold any animosity towards this individual’
Sgt Howden suffered a broken leg, a head injury and bruising. His recovery is expected to take more than a year.
Speaking afterwards, Sgt Howden, a police officer of nearly 22 years, said: ‘I don’t hold any animosity towards this individual.
‘The decisions he made on that day have had, and will continue to have, enormous consequences for him.
‘I’m very fortunate my injury wasn’t far more severe than it was.’
Sgt Howden also praised the members of the public who helped at the scene and came to his aid.
Price, of Russet Avenue, Exeter, admitted two counts of dangerous driving and causing Sgt Howden grievous bodily harm. He pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm to a man and the attempted bodily harm of a woman, as well as biting another office twice on the bicep
‘I genuinely couldn’t have had a better reaction from the people there, who were so kind and considerate,’ he said.
‘Their immediate actions were incredibly positive.’
Detective Constable Kerry Murch, who led the investigation, said: ‘Price used his car as a weapon to target Sgt Howden and other members of the public in an incident that bore some similarities to the heart-breaking circumstances in which PC Andrew Harper was sadly killed in Thames Valley in 2019.
‘This incident could all too easily have resulted in a more tragic conclusion.’
Thames Valley Police officer Andrew Harper was killed while on duty in Berkshire last year while responding to reports of a burglary.
The 28-year-old suffered catastrophic injuries after his ankles got caught in a strap attached to a getaway car.
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