Suspects Arrested After Assault Against Officer

  • Community   Friday, January 27, 2023   

 On Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at approximately 10:30 p.m. the Stratford Police Service was conducting an investigation regarding a stolen vehicle and had attended the Canadian Tire Gas Bar, located at 1101 Ontario Street, in the City of Stratford. 

At the Gas Bar, the investigating officer observed a male and female in a Black Dodge Ram Pick-up truck that was confirmed stolen out of Parkhill. This vehicle was unrelated to the initial stolen vehicle investigation. 

The male and female have now been identified as 27-year-old Joseph Cluett of Mitchell, and 30-year-old Kayla Field of Goderich. Cluett is known to police and is currently bound by a Probation order after being convicted in January 2022 of Flight from Police Officer, Operate Motor Vehicle While Prohibited X2, Fail to Comply with Release Order X4, and Possession of Property Obtained by Crime over $5000 X2. 

The officer exited the police cruiser and approached Cluett, as Cluett was exiting the store at the Gas Bar. Cluett immediately pushed the officer to the ground and ran to the truck where he got into the passenger seat, while the co-accused, Field, was in the driver’s seat. The officer pursued Cluett to the truck and attempted to pull him out while telling Cluett he was under arrest. 

With no regard for the officer’s safety and wellbeing, Field put the vehicle into drive and sped away at a high rate of speed. The officer was entangled with Cluett and was unable to pull away. As Field sped away, the officer was dragged alongside the vehicle, through the parking lot before falling and nearly being run over. As a result, the officer suffered several injuries and was transported to hospital by EMS. 

The truck was last seen travelling west bound away from the Canadian Tire on Ontario Street. Police attempted to search for the vehicle and the two accused persons, but were unable to locate them at that time. 

On Wednesday, January 25, 2023 the Stratford Police located Cluett and Field, with the assistance of the Woodstock Police Service. 

Shortly after 4:00 p.m. Cluett was observed driving the stolen truck from the previous night, with Field in the passenger seat. The vehicle had stopped for a train in the area of Dublin, Ontario, where officers attempted to box the truck in, hoping to avoid a pursuit. Cluett drove the truck directly toward an officer, who was out on foot. The officer was able to jump away, but Cluett struck two of the police vehicles before driving off the roadway. Officers made another attempt to box the truck in, however Cluett drove directly at another police vehicle, crashing into it before fleeing on foot. Cluett was apprehended moments later when he continued to resist arrest and made further attempts to flee. Officers were eventually able to contain Cluett without further injury and he was transported to Stratford Police Headquarters. 

During the altercation with Cluett, Field remained in the truck and was arrested without incident. Field was also transported to Stratford Police Headquarters. 

While speaking with Cluett police observed signs that he was impaired by drug, resulting in him also being arrested and charged for Operation While Impaired. 

As a result of this incident, both Cluett and Field have been charged with Possession of Stolen Property over $5000 and Possession of Stolen Property under $5000. Field has been charged with Dangerous Driving, while Cluett has been charged with Drive While Disqualified, Dangerous Drive, Assault with a Weapon, Resist Arrest, and Breach Probation. Both accused persons were held in custody and are scheduled to attend court on January 31, 2023. 

The officer involved in this incident was released from hospital after receiving treatment for the sustained injuries. The officer will be off work for an undetermined amount of time and is now resting at home with family.