Teen accused of driving stolen car at police officer remains in custody

A police officer was hospitalised after being hit by a stolen car, allegedly driven by a teenager in the early hours of Saturday morning.

An investigation is underway into the Blackmans Bay incident, which involved at least one shot being fired by police.

The 17-year-old youth accused of driving the stolen green Ford Festiva received a head injury, and was taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital.

It is unknown at this stage whether the injury was caused by shrapnel from the shooting, or from crashing into the officer or police vehicle. Police said the injury was not believed to be serious.

Officers were responding to reports of the stolen vehicle being driven “erratically” in the Kingston area about 1am on Saturday, police said.

It was located a short time later in a dead-end at Crystal Downs Drive.

“When one of the police officers exited the passenger side of the police vehicle, the driver of the stolen vehicle turned the vehicle in the direction of the police officer ... and drove directly at him,” Commander Tony Cerritelli said.

“The officer was struck by the vehicle and has been taken to hospital with minor leg injuries.”

The youth allegedly left the scene and abandoned the stolen vehicle at Wattle Avenue in Kingston. He was arrested a short time later.

“It is probably the most extreme level of activity that a police officer can take, and therefore, there are big decisions, and that can weigh heavily on the police officer involved,” Commander Cerritelli said.

“Apart from taking the action he did, having the trauma of having his life put at risk is significant.”

The alleged offender was under police guard at the hospital on Saturday.

“We are currently awaiting some medical outcomes from the treatment he’s having and then we’ll know more about the nature of the injury - how it was sustained and whether it was part of the shrapnel, which I understand, involves injury to his forehead,” Commander Cerritelli said.

The Professional Standards Command is investigating the incident and the officers involved are receiving assistance from the critical incident stress management team.

“So we make sure that we wrap as much welfare around, and that’s my concern - making sure the welfare is wrapped around this officer, and that we get him back on his feet as quickly as we can.”

The teenager has not yet been charged. Commander Cerritelli said he would be interviewed once his medical concerns were dealt with.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.