Highway 1 east of Salmon Arm was temporarily closed Monday, July 13, as police responded to a report of a man pointing what was believed to have been a rifle at a passing vehicle. (File photo)

Hitchhiker with metal pipe prompts RCMP to close Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Police respond to report of man who pointed what was believed to be a rifle at passing driver

A hitchhiker with a metal pipe prompted the closure of Highway 1 east of Salmon Arm Monday as police responded to a report of an individual who pointed a possible firearm at a passing driver.

At around 2:50 p.m. on July 13, a woman driving east along the Trans-Canada Highway called 911 to report a man near the Bernie Road intersection who had pointed what she believed to be a rifle at her vehicle.

RCMP from both Salmon Arm and Sicamous responded, quickly co-ordinating the closure of the highway before commencing a search for the suspect.

Spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said an RCMP Southeast District Emergency Response Team that happened to be training in the Shuswap at the time also responded to assist in the search.

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A man matching the description of the suspect was found within the contained area and arrested without incident.

The man, who police determined had been hitchhiking, was not in possession of any firearms upon his arrest,” said O’Donaghey. “However, further investigation revealed that he had been holding up a metal pipe, which officers believe could have been easily mistaken by a passing motorist as resembling the barrel of a firearm.

The highway remained closed for approximately 40 minutes as officers conducted their search.

The RCMP wish to thank all those who were impacted by the emergency highway closure for their patience and understanding as our officers worked to ensure their personal safety and well-being, added O’Donaghey.

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