Shortly after 10.30 this morning, a young man drove at speed around the Coles carpark, doing at least two circuits and ramming into parked vehicles before getting away.
He and a second alleged offender were arrested soon after on Ross Highway.
At Coles shoppers and pedestrians screamed and ran, to cower near the supermarket entrance and on the footpaths.
Alice Springs News journalist Kieran Finnane was leaving the supermarket with a full trolley as the car did its first circuit, tyres screeching.
It was a silver-coloured sedan, as she recalls, with some damage to the body. A young Aboriginal man was behind the wheel, his face set. She thought he was alone in the car.
As he rounded the corner at the bottle shop end of the carpark, a man yelled out to him, “Idiot!” or a word to that effect. That may have provoked him as he he picked up speed, engine roaring.
Now it felt really dangerous, that someone could easily be hurt.
“Here he comes again,” warned a woman.
The car hurtled back around and there was the sound of metal crushing. He had slammed into cars parked opposite the driveway exit to the west.
Ms Finnane could not actually see this, through the huddle of shoppers on the footpath, but thinks he must have driven away via this exit.
It took perhaps five minutes for the first police car to arrive, followed by an ambulance. Some 10 minutes later, more police arrived and began questioning bystanders.
Paramedics attended to a woman whom they had seated in a wheelchair.
Last updated 17 August 2021 5.17pm.
UPDATE August 18, 10am:
Police said in a statement today that they have charged a man in relation to a number of dangerous driving incidents in Alice Springs yesterday.
At around 10:30am, the 19-year-old was allegedly driving around Alice Springs CBD in a Ford Falcon whilst intoxicated.
He allegedly entered a supermarket carpark on Railway terrace and collided with a vehicle, pushing it into a female victim who sustained minor injuries.
He has continued to drive erratically, colliding with a number of vehicles as he left the car park and has driven towards the Stuart Highway.
He has allegedly failed to stop at a red light on the Stuart Highway before he rear ended another vehicle.
His vehicle broke down on Palm Circuit where he was arrested by police. He underwent a breath analysis, providing a high range reading of 0.198%.
He has been charged with: 2 x Not stop after crash; 1 x Recklessly endanger serious harm; 1 x High range breath alcohol content; 1 x Drive vehicle in manner dangerous; 1 x Enter intersection against red light; 1 x Drive a motor vehicle while unlicensed.
He has been remanded to face local court today.
Detective Acting Sergeant Andrew Nicholson said: “Police are continuing to call for any mobile or dash-cam footage of the dangerous driving observed yesterday in the CBD.”