A MAN accused of stealing a van which crashed into the side of a bus in Belfast after driving off with a police officer “hanging” from the passenger door has been remanded into custody.
Eamon McTaggart appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Saturday by videolink from police custody.
The 31-year-old confirmed he understood the charges against him.
Those offences include aggravated vehicle theft, driving while unfit, dangerous driving and failing to stop.
The court was told police received two 999 calls on Friday afternoon, one relating to a Citroen Relay van being stolen at Bradbury Place and another concerning a suspected drink driver.
Uniformed officers who were attending another call at Victoria Square spotted the van sitting in traffic.
They approached the vehicle but when one of them opened the passenger door, McTaggart is alleged to have sped off “with the officer hanging on the passenger door”.
McTaggart, from Tamneymore Park in Londonderry, was arrested after the van crashed into the side of a bus.
Police objected to bail due to fears of further offences. It was also revealed McTaggart was already on bail for drink driving.
A defence lawyer conceded McTaggart “struggles with alcohol” and even though he was so intoxicated he “can’t remember the incident, he made admissions at interview”.
Refusing bail, the judge described the offences as “absolutely outrageous”.
McTaggart was remanded into custody with the case adjourned until June.