News State Victoria News Police hunt driver who sped through busy Melbourne mall

Police hunt driver who sped through busy Melbourne mall

bourke street mall car
Police believe the driver was trying to avoid them, rather than cause harm. Photo: ABC
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Police are investigating after a car sped down Bourke Street Mall to avoid being pulled over and crashed into a bollard in Melbourne’s CBD.

Officers tried to pull over a green Mitsubishi Lancer about 4.55pm on Thursday on Swanston Street in relation to a traffic related incident, Victoria Police said in a statement.

However, the car sped off then turned down Bourke Street Mall, driving along the tram tracks before crashing into a bollard.

Police said they did not believe the driver was trying to harm pedestrians, but was “taking evasive action to avoid police intercept”.

“At the time of the vehicle crashing into the bollard, police drew their firearms,” Victoria Police said.

“A male passenger [of the green car] ran on foot towards Elizabeth Street and the vehicle did a U-turn back along Bourke Street towards Swanston Street.”

No injuries were reported, police said.

Victoria Police’s Air Wing followed the car and found it without number plates on Ashworth Street in Albert Park, about five kilometres south of the mall, about 6.40pm.

Police have not yet caught the driver of the car, or the man who jumped out and bolted in the CBD.

An earlier statement released before the car was located said police were looking for a Toyota Corolla, which was last seen in the St Kilda area.

bourke street mall car
Police tape surrounding bollards at Bourke Street Mall. Photo: ABC

Alan Cao, who witnessed the event, said he saw the car turn down Bourke Street Mall and speed up, with a police car following right behind it.

“It was going pretty fast, it was kind of speeding,” he told the ABC.

Other witnesses said on Twitter that they saw the car “tearing” down the mall.

The incident comes a little over four years after the 2017 Bourke Street car attack, when a man sped down a footpath and deliberately drove into pedestrians, killing six people.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers, or send any footage they took to police.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

  • Lifeline, 131 114
  • Kids Helpline, 1800 551 800
  • MensLine Australia, 1300 789 978
  • Suicide Call Back Service, 1300 659 467
  • beyondblue on 1300 224 636
  • Headspace, 1800 650 890