By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
A PILOT intentionally rammed his plane into a police vehicle to avoid capture as he attempted to smuggle a group of immigrants into Abaco on Sunday night.
Superintendent Noel Curry, officer in Charge of the Abaco District, said the officers were lucky to be alive after the head-on collision with the nine-seater plane around 6:45pm. A wanted notice was last night issued for 30-year-old Owen George Johnson as part of the investigation.
According to information received by this newspaper, when the wing of the plane hit the police vehicle, the plane spun, angling the propeller toward the officers who were at that time pinned in the jeep as the propeller chopped its way through the vehicle towards them.
Taking advantage of that moment, the pilot got out of the aircraft and escaped into nearby bushes. However, the seven illegal migrants onboard the nine-seater aircraft were taken into custody.
Supt Curry: “Acting on information police in Abaco went to the Sandy Point Airport where they observed an aircraft attempting to land. Officers went on the runway to quickly apprehend the passengers, in the twin engine nine-seater plane, however the pilot turned the plane in the direction of the officers. The plane’s wing as well as the propeller hit the police vehicle shattering the windshield, the back glass and causing extensive front end damage,” he said.
“The pilot jumped from the plane before it came to a complete stop and ran into nearby bushes. The passengers, seven illegal immigrants, were taken into custody. They include two female Haitians, one male Haitian, and four male Dominicans. There was also a two-year-old toddler on the plane.”
Supt Curry said two of the three officers were injured during the collision, and were treated and discharged at a nearby clinic. The illegals are expected to be flown to the capital and turned over to immigration officers.
Police in Abaco are hunting for Owen George Johnson, who is 30, born in New Providence and a pilot by profession. He is 6ft 6in, has a low haircut, is heavy built and with a light brown complexion. Police warn not to approach him if he is seen, as he is considered dangerous.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police in Grand Bahama at 350-3107/8, in Abaco at 367-3437 or 911 or 919.