Driver on airport runaway not criminally responsible
By: Mike McIntyre 01/5/2011
WINNIPEG — A Montreal man has been found not criminally responsible for stealing a military truck and driving it onto the runway of Winnipeg’s airport.
Michael Doss, 23, was suffering from a "major mental illness" at the time of the September 2010 incident, court heard Wednesday.
Both Crown and defence lawyers agreed with the finding of a psychiatrist who said Doss "could not have appreciated the differences between right and wrong."
Doss has been in custody since his arrest undergoing treatment in the forensic unit of the Health Sciences Centre. His case will now be put in the hands of the provincial Review Board, who must determine if and when Doss is fit to be returned to the community. He will likely be housed at the Selkirk Mental Health unit until such a finding is made.
According to police, Doss somehow entered a restricted area on the Canadian Forces Base and found a Ford F150 registered to the Department of National Defence. The vehicle was parked on the apron of a runway.
A spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Airports Authority said Doss breached a fence around the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport shortly after 5 a.m. As the truck was headed towards the runway, a Beechcraft King Aircraft carrying cargo and three passengers was departing.
The plane completed its take-off without incident while the stolen truck continued to drive along the runway, behind the departed plane.
Doss was quickly stopped by airport security and Winnipeg police. There were no injuries.
Doss was charged with theft over $5,000, damaging or interfering with navigation facility and mischief endangering life.
The unusual incident led to a review of security measures.