Police in Malmö are having a hard time explaining how they acted during the car chase, which took place following what at first appeared to be a routine two-car collision in central Malmö around 5pm on Tuesday night.
As officers stood and directed traffic from the site, a third driver drove up and stopped his vehicle near the scene of the crash, at which point an officer came over and asked the driver to leave.
“The driver stared at the police officer who had asked him to drive away, and then sped off at top speed, trying to run down two other officers who stood near an unmarked police car,” Malmö police spokesperson Conny Strömberg told the TT news agency following the incident.
Police quickly took up pursuit of the vehicle, in a high-speed chase through city streets in the middle of rush hour.
In the course of the chase, a 61-year-old cyclist was struck and killed by the vehicle driven by the 20-year-old, whose wild ride was brought to an end when police eventually rammed his car.
At first police claimed that the cyclist had been killed after the car chase had come to an end, but witnesses to the wild pursuit say the police’s version of events doesn’t add up.
“The police car passed at high-speed before the man who was hit was lying on the ground,” one witness told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
Another witness estimated that police were driving through downtown Malmö in excess of 100 km/h as they chased the 20-year-old’s car.
According to local media, the 20-year-old is a member of the Black Cobra criminal gang, which is reported to be shutting down its operations in Sweden.
Police say he was under the influence of drugs at the time he was arrested and that this is far from his first brush with the law.
In 2008 he was convicted for assault, theft, and drug smuggling.
And in April 2010 he was found guilty by the Helsingborg District Court for aggravated robbery and attempted blackmail in a high-profile case involving the kidnapping of a disabled 19-year-old who was then forced to sign for a series of mobile phone subscriptions.
Police were also called to the man’s school in May 2010 he threatened to kill three of his teachers, the local Skånska Dagbladet newspaper reported.
And in October 2010, the 20-year-old had shoved burning paper through the mail slot on the door of his parents’ flat when they refused to let him in.
His parents were able to extinguish the blaze, but the man was nevertheless sentenced to nine months in prison for attempted arson, vandalism, and drugs offences.
According to Skånska Dagbladet, the 20-year-old was driving a car belonging to a female acquaintance during the Tuesday night car chase.
His is being held on suspicion of attempted murder and for having caused the death of the 61-year-old cyclist.