The accused was already serving a 10-year sentence for convictions that included robbery and dangerous operation of a vehicle.
He was granted statutory release in February.
The bizarre series of incidents unfolded at about 7 a.m. when a nurse at Elizabeth St. and Gerrard St. W. had her SUV taken from her after a man armed with scissors slashed her in the hand and took her keys.
The suspect sped up to Highway 401, where he was seen weaving in and out of traffic on the eastbound collector lanes. The stolen Nissan X-Trail struck another van before rolling several times on the highway east of Kennedy Rd., police say.
The bloodied man climbed out and, in front of astonished motorists, tried to commandeer a Mercedes before two citizens got out of their vehicles to stop the attacks.
"Those two citizens were heroes," said Det. Joe Digiovanni. "If they hadn't stepped in and the guy had gotten away with the Mercedes on the highway, it would have been absolute mayhem and many people could have gotten seriously hurt."
The heroes could be in line for civilian citations.
After the suspect was hauled out of the Mercedes, the suspect then tried to car-jack several more cars before he was arrested at a nearby strip mall.
Once in the police cruiser, the accused kicked out the window of the cruiser, police said.
Police suspect the man was under the influence of drugs.Randy Smith of Kingston faces 44 charges.