Jail for driver in Glengarry police chase and Cornwall high speed crash Tuesday

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

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CORNWALL – A Cornwall man will be spending nine months in jail at a Brockville treatment center after pleading guilty to a dozen charges related to a police chase in Glengarry County and two cases involving the police in Cornwall.

Those dozen charges included two counts of dangerous driving, two counts of assaulting a police officer, mischief, drug possession, failing to stop for police and a number of court order violations.

Joshua Tilley was scheduled to have a trial this morning (Wednesday) but he was arrested last night for dangerous driving, assaulting a police officer and beaching previous court orders to not operate a motor vehicle and to keep the peace.

The bail court had to deal with Tilley’s latest matter this morning before he was transferred over to the courtroom where the trial was supposed to have been held. The Crown and defence were able to work out a plea deal this morning, avoiding a trial, and including Tilleys’ latest brush with the law Tuesday night.

Tilley, 24, was wearing blue jeans and a red t-shirt and appeared disheveled and sleepy with long frizzled hair.

During the arraignment where the court clerk reads all of the charges individually and the accused pleads to each charge, Tilley became annoyed and agitated with the process.

“You know what your honour. I’ve said guilty six times. And then we’ll be over with,” Tilley interjected between his lawyer’s request to read all the charges together.

“Under the circumstances, perhaps these might go more smoothly to read all the charges and we’ll ask how he pleads to all the charges…there’s no sense in aggravating the young man,” Judge John Waugh said.

Following the arraignment, when Crown attorney Elaine Evans was reading the agreed statement of facts into the record, Tilley, clearly upset, started arguing with his lawyer and his parents in the gallery about how long the process was taking. “I just want to get into a cell,” he said to his lawyer. His parents also appeared to try to calm him down.

Court heard Tilley had be speeding on a snowmobile along Walton, St. Felix, First and Alice Streets in December 2016 and was being tracked by a police cruiser he had passed. The snowmobile was “skidding through” several stop signs as well as hitting a snowbank. The officer lost sight of the snowmobile but having seen the sleds before at a Walton Street home, he found the accused there and arrested him.

Crown attorney Evans said Tilley had been kicking and punching the side of the cruiser following his arrest, causing $1,000 damage.

During the May 2017 police chase near Maxville, court heard speeds reached in excess of 130 kilometers an hour when an officer tried to pull over a Jeep on County Road 20.

The pursuit was called off but the officer still followed, where the Jeep went through several intersections without stopping, including the intersection at County Roads 20 and 43, County Roads 12 and 20 and an intersection in Martintown.

The pursuit stopped after a spike belt blew out a front tire, sending the Jeep into a corn field. Tilley was later arrested following a search with the O.P.P. canine unit.

The latest run in with the police happened around 9:30 p.m. last night in Cornwall when a Crysler 300 was squealing its tires and travelling around 100 kilometers an hour on Seventh Street West near the Benson Center.

“As the vehicle continued west, it turned around another corner, forcing two vehicles eastbound to swerve off the roadway. The vehicle’s tires were squealing again and the engine was revving at a high range,” Evans said.

The car later crashed into a tree at the intersection of Seventh and Hoople, nearly hitting nearby pedestrians. Court heard the skid marks before the crash site were about 75 meters (246 feet) long.

Two people fled who were later identified as Tilley and his surety, Robert Lalonde. Evans says Lalonde told police Tilley had be driving the vehicle.

“When he (Tilley) was being arrested, he attempted to bite Const. (Christopher) Sullivan,” Evans said.

Tilley will serve his nine months in jail, with a recommendation to send him to the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Center in Brockville.

His lawyer, Jeff Langevin, said his client suffers from schizophrenia and is bi-polar.

“He’s a brand new father. His girlfriend just had a baby on July 17. His mom tells me he has mental health issues. He’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia and struggles with addiction…we think a round (of treatment) at St. Lawrence would be good in terms of his rehabilitation,” Langevin said.

After he serves his sentence, Tilley will be on 18 months probation, where he won’t be allowed to touch drugs or alcohol. There is also a five year driving prohibition, a 10 year weapons ban and Tilley will have to submit a DNA sample.

Tilley has to also make $1,000 in restitution to the City of Cornwall for the damage to the police cruiser.

After court finished, Tilley was talking with his mother and step-father in the gallery. “The papers are already signed, I’ll talk if I want,” Tilley snapped at a court officer when she asked him to come to the holding cell.

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