OPP Orillia Police Press Releases

Officer Struck By Vehicle – 2 Arrested

(Orillia, ON) – Members of the Orillia Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have arrested and charged two individuals following an incident where an officer was struck by a vehicle attempting to flee police.

On March 30, 2024, about 7:37 a.m., Orillia OPP officers responded to a traffic complaint at Ridge Road West and Black Forest Lane in Oro-Medonte Township. It was reported to police that the driver was asleep and slumped over the steering wheel of a parked vehicle with its engine running. 

Upon arriving on scene, the officer attended the vehicle in question to investigate – opening the door to check on the driver. The individual in the driver seat woke up and became combative with the officer, shifting the vehicle into reverse and striking the officer with the vehicle in attempts to flee. Moments later other officers arrived to assist and the vehicle attempting to flee was stopped by a police cruiser – making contact with it. The driver did not comply with demands to exit the vehicle and had to be removed by officers. The driver was placed under arrest – as was an individual who was a passenger in the vehicle.

Following the arrest police continued their investigation and recovered a quantity of drugs, cash and weapons including a loaded 9mm handgun which was accessible to the driver and passenger. Thankfully the officer struck by the vehicle only suffered minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital by Simcoe County Paramedics. Orillia OPP Major Crime Unit also assisted with the investigation. Both arrested and charged individuals were on probation at the time of the incident and prohibited from having weapons. The driver was also prohibited from driving.

The following items have been seized as evidence:

·      9mm handgun

·      9mm ammunition

·      Knife

·      Fentanyl

·      $3965 Canadian currency

Gary Hirsch, 33 years old, of Barrie, has been charged with 32 criminal charges:

·      Fail to comply with probation order x4

·      Fraud related charges x5

·      Stolen property related charges x2

·      Possession of controlled substance x2

·      Possession of controlled substance for purpose of trafficking

·      Assault Police with a weapon

·      Resist Peace Officer

·      Flight from Police

·      Operation while prohibited

·      Dangerous Operation

·      Impaired Operation

·      Weapons related charges x12

Ashley McLinden, 33 years old, of Barrie, has been charged with 26 criminal charges:

·      Fail to comply with probation order x3

·      Fraud related charges x5

·      Stolen property related charges x3

·      Possession of controlled substance x2

·      Possession of controlled substance for purpose of trafficking

·      Obstruct Peace Officer

·      Weapons related charges x11

Both accused have been held in police custody pending a bail hearing.

The investigation is ongoing. No further details to be released at this time.

The Orillia OPP is committed to serving our province, including the Townships of Oro-Medonte, Ramara and Severn and the City of Orillia. If you have any information about crime in our community, please contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. To report minor occurrences online please visit You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit your information online at Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display, and you will remain anonymous. You will not testify in court and your information may lead to a cash reward of up to $2,000.

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