A male suspect allegedly found asleep at the wheel three times in two days escaped police on foot after ditching the black SUV he was driving.
On May 21 at around 10:30 p.m., Chase RCMP received a report of a suspicious vehicle on VLA Road in Chase – the male driver of a black SUV was said to be outside of his vehicle yelling.
Police located the vehicle, which by then was stopped in the middle of the road with the driver asleep. According to Sgt. Barry Kennedy, when police emergency lights were activated the man awoke and quickly drove away. Police obtained the SUV’s licence plate number and found the driver to be much younger than the registered owner.
Around 8 a.m. on May 22, officers were investigating a different suspicious vehicle report when they came across the same black SUV on the side of Stoney Flats Road.
According to police, the driver appeared to be asleep with his head back and mouth open.
When police tapped the window, said Kennedy, the suspect immediately started the vehicle and sped away, forcing officers to jump out of its path.
Shortly after, another complaint was received about the SUV. Police found the vehicle stopped in the middle of a dead-end residential street with the engine running and the driver slumped over, again asleep.
This time, said Kennedy, the police had a plan.
They parked their vehicles side by side to block the exit of the dead-end road. Then they set out spike belts in front of and behind the SUV while the driver slept.
The SUV’s window was half open, so police reached in and unlocked the door. They turned off the ignition but the keys wouldn’t come out as the vehicle was still in gear.
When the officers attempted to pull the man out of the vehicle, said Kennedy, he awoke and started fighting.
The suspect allegedly bit one officer and managed to free one hand which he then used to start the car. The suspect again put police at risk of being run over or dragged.
Kennedy said the suspect then drove over the spike belts, and then over someone’s lawn, to avoid the police vehicles blocking the road.
The Chase detachment received more calls about the black SUV as it was being driven on rims through the community.
Finally, police received a report of the vehicle having been abandoned. Police dogs were used in a search for the suspect through Wilson Park, but Kennedy said the man was not located.
Chase RCMP have since identified the male suspect and will be requesting a warrant for his arrest.
Kennedy said that while the outcome was not perfect, police are glad the driver is off the road.