A security guard was flung onto a vehicle bonnet as a driver made-off from Wade Street, Halifax, Bradford Crown Court was told.
Another guard was also hit as they approached the white Transit Van over a suspected shoplifting ring.
Matthew Wade, 20, admitted a charge of dangerous driving.
He was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders institution suspended for 18 months, ordered to do 120 hours unpaid community work and banned from driving for two years.
Richard Canning, prosecuting, said a female had been arrested on suspicion of shoplifting at Boots, Market Street, Halifax.
She had been with two men who security guards approached in the van.
“Guards were stood in front of the van and the defendant accelerated forward,” said Mr Canning.
Both guards escaped injury and the vehicle was captured on CCTV leaving the Wickes car park going the wrong way on a one-way street and then weaving in and out of traffic.
Police traced the van which is owned by Wade’s mother and he was arrested.
Anne-marie Hutton, mitigating for Wade, of Tyersal Green, Tyersal, Bradford, said he panicked.
“Panic set in and he drove in the way that he did,” she said.
“A moment of madness, that is what it boils down to and a lesson has been learned.”
Recorder Jonathan Sandiford said it appeared Wade was driving the van on a shoplifting expedition in Halifax and if the guard had fallen under the wheels and not to the side of the vehicle he could have been killed or seriously injured.
“It was a very dangerous piece of driving but not anywhere near the worst piece of driving I have seen,” said Recorder Sandiford.
He said his decision to suspend the sentence was a “very close run thing.”