Damaged car from the day before May 1 in Helsinki belonging to an official of the Ministry of Finance, a recent candidate for the elections | News

Three men were injured in Saturday’s series of high-speed crashes in the town centre, which was packed with May Day revelers.

Officers are seen grappling with the suspect on the ground in the middle of the street. In the foreground, the black Mercedes-Benz driven by the suspect. Image: Lukijan ottama kuva

The Ministry of Finance has confirmed that one of its officials has a car that hit nine vehicles during May Day celebrations in Helsinki.

Three men, including the driver, were injured in the series of crashes on Saturday, while video from the scene appears to show the car narrowly missing several high-speed pedestrians.

As of Monday afternoon, police had not confirmed whether the owner of the vehicle was driving at the time, but say it was not stolen. The ministry has also not received confirmation from police that the owner of the vehicle is the suspect in the incident.

The department is now considering whether the employee could or should be terminated.

“A very sad case. It is a very good chance that it is not worse,” said the director of communication of the Ministry of Finance. Johanna Vesikallio commented.

The owner of the car is a well-educated 33-year-old resident of the Helsinki region whose website indicates that he is a professional in economics and finance. He actively commented on the policy on Twitter and in his blog.

The man was a candidate for the Finnish Party in the regional elections in January, but obtained less than 100 votes and was not elected. He worked at the Bank of Finland and as a trainee political assistant to a Finnish Member of the European Parliament.

The man has no criminal convictions, at least in the District Courts of Helsinki, West Uusimaa or East Uusimaa.

President Espoo Finns Party: “Completely incomprehensible”

The chairman of the Finns Party in Espoo, Mikko Wikstedt, confirmed that the man is part of their local association. Wikstedt said he met the man earlier on Saturday at the party’s May Day event in a market square in Espoo.

“He had been involved in the event, apparently already pitching a tent. I said hello and exchanged a few words with him. Everything was perfectly normal as always. was happening,” Wikstedt told Yle.

According to Wikstedt, the man did not appear to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

“As far as I know, he doesn’t drink alcohol. He drove in and drove away. It’s totally incomprehensible that anything happened in a few hours,” he said.

Wikstedt said when he first saw what happened on social media, it didn’t cross his mind that the 33-year-old had anything to do with the incident – but that when he saw pictures of the wrecked Mercedes he immediately recognized it as his own.

The article continues after the photo

The ministry official’s car was badly damaged in the accident. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

He further added that he had seen videos of the police arresting the driver and said that while he could not be absolutely sure it was the same man, it appeared to be him.

Videos posted on social media show four police officers tackling a man to the ground. The man resisted and repeatedly shouted “Stop in the name of Almighty God”, “Get away from me, Satan!” and “amen”.

Wikstedt, who said he only knew the man through party activities, described him as calm, thoughtful and restrained.

“The last guy you can imagine [doing something like this]. Until the day before yesterday, he was a really perfect member, a very educated and intelligent guy.”

Police: “No ideological basis”

The suspect crashed in central Helsinki around 7pm on Saturday after hitting several cars on Pohjoisesplanadi and ignoring police orders to stop. Three men were injured, including the speeder. Both victims were discharged from the hospital. A terrace in front of a cafe was completely destroyed.

According to the police, he endangered the safety of many people by driving recklessly in a crowded area.

Videos show the car nearly hit several people crossing the street near Esplanade Park and the Havis Amanda Monument, the traditional center of May Day celebrations in the capital. Police estimate there were tens of thousands of people in the area at the time.

The driver is suspected of aggravated endangering traffic safety, aggravated driving under the influence, grievous bodily harm, resisting an official and insubordination, police said in a statement.

They do not believe that he intentionally attempted to hit pedestrians, that his actions had any ideological basis or were premeditated.

‘There is no sign that the man deliberately tried to run over people,’ the Detective Inspector said. Lasse Lagerbohmwho is leading the investigation.

In addition to the suspect, there was a woman in the car. The police conducted preliminary interviews with the suspect and the passenger. They also planned to interview about 30 eyewitnesses.

“We have an idea of ​​the reasons for the situation, but the investigation is still in its early stages,” Lagerbohm said.

A blood sample was taken from the man on Saturday to test for possible drug use. The lab results are expected next Saturday.