401 visit from Fantino nasty surprise for driver

Sat, November 17, 2007


TORONTO -- A driver who blew by an unmarked OPP cruiser on Highway 401 got the surprise of his life when he found himself face to face with the province's top cop.

OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino was on his way to speak at a Crime Stoppers' dinner in Ingersoll Thursday when he and his driver were passed in the westbound lanes by a car going nearly double the 100 km/hr speed limit.

"This guy went by us like a bullet and we did what police officers are supposed to do, we went after him," Fantino said yesterday, adding they caught up with the driver and "clocked" him travelling 170 km/h.

Officers from the Cambridge detachment were dispatched to the scene between Woodstock and Ingersoll to help with the investigation. Police say about $8,500 worth of crack cocaine and marijuana was discovered during a subsequent search of the stopped vehicle.

Curtis Wint, 23, of Kitchener, is charged with numerous driving and drug-related offences. His licence was also immediately suspended for seven days and the rental car he was driving was impounded under Ontario's new anti-streetracing legislation that allows officers to seize the vehicle of anyone caught travelling at more than 50 km/h over the speed limit.

This is the third time Fantino has personally nabbed a high-flying motorist since the tough new legislation was enacted Sept. 30. He said he enjoys pitching in on the frontlines as it allows him to "stay connected" to his officers.

"I may be the commissioner of the OPP, but I'm a police officer first and I don't believe in leading from behind. I feel very strongly that no leader should ask his or her people to do anything they're not prepared to do themselves."