- Our Town
Reverse chase nets fine
By Cam Fortens,
Mounties are accustomed to pursuits on the Trans-Canada Highway — but not quite like the one that took place in April 2013.
A Chase resident admitted to a provincial court judge he “overreacted” when he pursued a fleeing Mountie in an RCMP cruiser on the highway.
Police were so alarmed they dispatched a helicopter to assist.
Shawn David Henry pleaded guilty to uttering threats following the two-part altercation last year, with provincial court judge Len Marchand levying a $900 fine.
Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan said the incident began when RCMP received a call about a suspected impaired driver on the highway.
Henry, whose vehicle fit the description, was pulled over.
Flanagan said Henry was “hostile from the minute she [Mountie] first spoke to him.”
Henry was not impaired and told the Mountie he was being targeted due to his Metis heritage.
“She describes him as just out of control,” Flanagan said.
The Mountie then wrote Henry a ticket for a broken windshield.
“She wanted out of the scene and left the ticket on the screen,” Flanagan said.
An incensed Henry, “loud, vulgar and abusive,” according to Flanagan – then called 911 and began approaching the cruiser.
Flanagan said Henry made threats to the officer during the 911 call, during which he complained about abuse and racism.
The Mountie then drove away — and the episode may have ended, Flanagan said.
Two hours later, again on the Trans-Canada, the officer saw Henry approaching from the other direction.
As the vehicles passed, Flanagan said the Mountie could see Henry leaning toward his windshield — as if peering to see who was behind the wheel of her cruiser.
Henry then made a U-turn and began to follow the Mountie.
“She’s very concerned and doesn’t know what Mr. Henry’s been doing in the past two hours,” Flanagan said, noting the officer decided to avoid confrontation until other units could assist.
The call went out and RCMP dispatched other members and a helicopter.
The Mountie either eluded Henry or he gave up following the RCMP cruiser.
He was later arrested.
Defence lawyer Don Campbell said the incident was a case of escalating overreaction on both sides.
“I overreacted at the highway stop,” Henry admitted to the sentencing judge.
“It was a little immature on my part. I’ve got no intention of chasing after police officers. I’m not a violent guy.”
Marchand also ordered that Henry must agree to allow his employer to provide information about his work as part of the three-year probation he is serving for the earlier crimes.
The incident is the second time Henry has been involved in a bizarre criminal incident.
He was sentenced last year after terrorizing his daughter’s 15-year-old friend during a sleepover.
He was found guilty after trial of assault with a weapon, uttering threats and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose.