It may still be too early for the pantomime season but he’s behind you was certainly an appropriate exclamation during an incredible 40-minute chase through the back streets and trails of Red Deer, Alberta in Canada recently.
The 2012 Alberta College cross country champion, Devin Woodland (pictured), was out for his regular early morning run when his plans were thwarted by an unexpected but ultimately heart-warming development.
10 days earlier his wife Anna’s mountain bike had been stolen in Alberta’s third most populated city. Amazingly, the 25-year-old spotted the thief on board the distinctive bike and immediately confronted him. He was determined to recover Anna’s bike – the fourth they had lost to thieves in around two years.
What followed was a remarkable display of athleticism, dogged determination and ultimately forgiveness as the recalcitrant thief pedalled off at speed with Devin in hot pursuit. Both knew the territory well and the thief headed for the wooded trails and parks to avoid the more populated areas. Recent snowfall helped Devin pick up the trail whenever he lost sight of his quarry.
Throughout the pursuit Devin updated the local police, who could hardly believe the distance travelled but stuck to their task until the felon finally went to ground in Coronation Park, where he was apprehended by Constable Trevor Naldrett without the strength to resist.
The blue bike had been spray painted pink and white but blue paint was still visible and other unique features also made it easy to identify. Speaking after recovering from his efforts Devin told local reporters: “I thought about giving up but I’ve run marathons before so what would another few kilometres do?”
The happy outcome was made even more memorable when Devin refused to press charges, saying: “His day was already miserable. I believe in God. He forgave me, so I can forgive other people. Didn’t need to make it worse than it already was.” And with that extraordinary message of goodwill he simply climbed on his wife’s bike and rode home in search of a hearty breakfast.
Click here to listen to details of this amazing chase on Global News, Canada.
Image: Red Deer Advocate