Road rager sentenced to 10 months in jail
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This article was published 26/08/2022 (288 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Winnipeg man responsible for a terrifying road rage attack that made headlines around the world and left his two victims fearing for their lives has been sentenced to 10 months in jail.
“Drivers cannot be allowed to use their vehicles as weapons simply because they let their anger and frustrations get the better of them,” provincial court Judge Lee-Anne Martin said Wednesday.
Dale Harper, 59, had pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with a weapon and one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle in connection to the Dec. 17, 2020 incident. Cellphone video of of the attack went viral after it was posted on the Los Angeles-based tabloid website TMZ.
Kiana Jobo told court at a sentencing hearing last May she feared she and her father were going to die as Harper repeatedly rammed her vehicle during a 10-minute pursuit that ended when she fled to the RCMP detachment on Portage Avenue.
Jobo was behind the wheel of her Hyundai Elantra running errands with her father Jomar, including making funeral arrangements for her grandparents, when she turned off Sargent Avenue onto Milt Stegall Drive, cutting off Harper’s Chevrolet pickup truck.
“Harper beeped his horn and Jobo hand gestured in a manner that Harper found impolite,” Martin said Wednesday. “He became angry and drove after Jobo… ramming into her vehicle and causing it to spin around.”
“This guy is trying to kill us!” Jomar Jobo can be heard saying on the cellphone video. On the same video, Kiana implores a friend in another car to follow her as Harper continues the chase.
Jobo fled to Portage Avenue, where Harper continued to ram her vehicle, at one point pushing it into another car stopped at a red light, causing her to spin into the median.
Jobo raced eastbound on Portage Avenue in the westbound lane until she reached the RCMP detachment, by which point Harper had abandoned the chase.
City police, alerted to the chase, caught up with Harper as he pulled in front of a house on Minto Street. “I lost my temper, I never did that before,” court was told Harper told police.
Prosecutor Paul Cooper urged Martin to sentence Harper to three years in prison, noting the incident was unlike most road rage attacks, which involve physical altercations between motorists who have left their cars, not an accused using their car as a weapon.
“It’s frankly incomprehensible…. If it had happened once and stopped, it would still be absolutely heinous, but that is not what happened here,” Cooper told court last May.
Harper has no criminal record and at a prior sentencing hearing was at a loss to explain his behaviour. Shortly after his arrest he started counselling to address his anger-management issues, court was told.
“Given his lack of prior record, upstanding pro-social conduct during his life and uncharacteristic actions… I find that his conduct was not planned,” Martin said. “Rather, it was a precipitous, uncontrolled burst of anger that took Harper some time to rein in.”
Martin sentenced Harper to an additional 12 months of supervised probation and prohibited him from driving for three years.
Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.
Updated on Friday, August 26, 2022 8:13 AM CDT: Corrects typo, corrects photo cutline