An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey

Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

An RCMP Commander in Southeastern British Columbia is grateful to a Good Samaritan who helped police apprehend a burglary suspect who had to be airlifted from a ravine near the town of Bridesville Tuesday night, Dec. 1.

“If you’re going to do a story on this, then the number 1 thing I want people to know is that that civilian was amazing,” Midway RCMP Cpl. Phil Peters told the Boundary Creek Times.

READ MORE: Boundary Mountie and suspect airlifted from ravine after foot chase

Peters and the suspect, a 47-year-old Bridesville man, were rescued by helicopter late Dec. 1 after a harrowing foot chase down a ravine traversing Rock Creek. Peters followed the suspect down the slope, aided by a 32-year-old Bridesville man who witnessed the suspect fleeing from an alleged burglary in the 1600 block of Fish Lake Road.

Peters said he and the Good Samaritan pursued the suspect through the ravine for about two hours starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday. At several points the men were waist deep in Rock Creek’s frigid waters.

Midway RCMP’s Cpl. Phil Peters spoke at Greenwood’s city council meeting Monday, Nov. 23. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Midway RCMP’s Cpl. Phil Peters spoke at Greenwood’s city council meeting Monday, Nov. 23. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

The freezing suspect gave up the chase after developing hypothermia.

“There was no fight left in him,” Peters said, adding that he did not handcuff the man.

Instead, the corporal built a fire to warm the suspect, at times holding him in an effort to raise his core temperature. Meanwhile, the Good Samaritan hiked out of the ravine so that he could bring Peters a pair of dry socks.

“He was just amazing,” Peters stressed. With icy water setting into his feet, Peters said he was very glad for the socks. “My boots were bricks by the time I got out of there.”

Mounties from Midway, Osoyoos and other jurisdictions were unable to effect a rescue in the cold and damp, so police called for an airlift by Canadian Armed Forces based in Comox, according to RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. The suspect was the first to be rescued. He was taken to a nearby hospital shortly after 9:20 p.m, where he was treated for hypothermia and exposure.

An RCMP cruiser looks on as military search and rescue helicopter powers down outside Bridesville Tuesday night, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey

An RCMP cruiser looks on as military search and rescue helicopter powers down outside Bridesville Tuesday night, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey

Peters did not require medical attention when he was airlifted 45 minutes later, O’Donaghey said.

Asked how he managed to stave off the cold, Peters said, “I guess it’s just who I am.”

Peters elaborated that he and his father had spent a lot of time hunting in the backcountry around his native Prince George. “I’m going to give my dad a lot of credit for my upbringing.”

Midway RCMP conditionally released four other suspects at the scene of the suspected burglary. The rescued suspect remains in police custody, where Cpl. O’Donaghey said he awaits criminal charges.


@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

RCMPrescueSearch and Rescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Town of Qualicum Beach plans to establish temporary shelters. (Town of Qualicum Beach illustration)
Town of Qualicum Beach seeks $1.25M grant to build temporary housing units

Aim is to move tenants in prior to the end of 2021

Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association and its Nanaimo-Ladysmith counterpart seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (PQB News file photo)
Mount Arrowsmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department emergency response vehicle. (PQB News file photo)
Dashwood fire department issues warning to residents to hold off on yard debris burning

Fire chief: ‘Hold off on burning until we get some rain’

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

The city asking the public if they want to pursue legal action against the province and their decision to override the city on the Victory Church issue. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton ready to sue province over homeless shelter

City council voted unanimously to authorize legal action

Most Read