The RCMP have launched a full review into a daring flight from police Sunday that started in Clinton and ended in Williams Lake with a daytime arrest caught on video and shared thousands of times.
RCMP North District Chief Supt. Warren Brown said immediately upon learning of the arrest a review of the incident was launched and includes speaking with the officers involved and witnesses, reviewing the in-police-car video, police radio transmissions, as well as the civilian video.
Brown added Williams Lake RCMP’s Officer in Charge Insp. Jeff Pelley has also launched a code of conduct investigation and discussions are continuing with respect to what role an external agency may have in reviewing the use of force, and determining whether it was reasonable and necessary under the circumstances.
Brown noted, however, the video posted on social media does not provide a full picture of the arrest and no context with respect to what precipitated it.
“What is captured by the civilian video was the culmination of a high-risk, multi-jurisdictional incident, that put the lives of the public and police in several communities, in jeopardy,” Brown noted in a news release Monday afternoon (Oct. 26).
Brown said just before 9 a.m. on Sunday Oct. 25, Kamloops RCMP received a report of an erratic driver on Highway 1. The caller reported the driver was allegedly crossing on double solid lines, unable to maintain its lane and travelling at variable speeds. Brown said Kamloops RCMP was not in a position to intercept the vehicle, so information was broadcast to neighbouring jurisdictions to be on the look out for the silver pick-up. Queries on the truck showed that at a stop in Kamloops, a person driving it had been found in possession of a loaded handgun.
An officer in Clinton located the vehicle, however, the driver failed to stop and fled from police at a high rate of speed, after reportedly passing four vehicles, on the wrong side of the road of a blind corner putting both himself and the public in an extremely dangerous and life threatening situation, Brown said.
“Again, the driver failed to stop for officers in 100 Mile House when they attempted to pull him over by using their lights and sirens, and narrowly missed striking an officer, who was attempting to stop the truck in 150 Mile House.”
Just outside of 150 Mile House an officer successfully deployed a spike belt. Despite two deflated tires the driver continued to drive on bare rims until the truck was demobilized by another spike belt near White Road on Highway 97, coming into the city of Williams Lake.
Brown said the driver left the vehicle and ran down an embankment in an attempt to escape and, after a brief foot pursuit, appeared to be surrendering.
“However, he refused to comply with the officer’s commands to show his hands and a struggle ensued, with the officer attempting to pull the man’s hands from underneath him, in order to gain control and handcuff him,” he said.
“A second responding officer, who was aware the man could be armed and was not complying with the initial officer’s commands, utilized several strikes including one with his foot to rapidly gain control of the suspect and resolve the situation.”
The suspect was arrested without further incident and was found not to be in possession of a firearm.
“We are fortunate that no one, including the suspect, was physically injured in an incident that can only be described a reckless and dangerous, which put the public and police at risk,” Brown said.
Brown encourages anyone who may have witnessed the incident or anyone with more information in regards to this incident to please contact Williams Lake RCMP at 250-392-6211.
“Fortunately, there is video footage that was captured by a passing motorist as well as dash cam video from the lead pursuing police vehicle that captures the arrest of the driver that provides context to the eventual arrest and articulation from the police officers involved.”