RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

South Okanagan officer injured by vehicle of armed man attempting to flee police

The man arrested had a sawed-off shotgun and stolen license plates on the front seat

A Penticton RCMP officer was injured after he was hit by the vehicle of an armed man attempting to flee the police.

An officer recognized the suspect’s vehicle while out on patrol on Feb. 1., spotting it with the driver passed out at the wheel at Lower Moorpark Drive.

The vehicle was recognized as one that had fled from police a week earlier.

Multiple police officers attended the scene and blocked the suspect’s vehicle to prevent him from making a second escape.

When the suspect awoke, he refused to comply with officers, started his car, and reversed into a police vehicle. He also struck one police officer with his vehicle.

READ MORE: Penticton’s RCMP caseload ‘unsustainable,’ says Superintendent

The man was unable to drive away from the scene, and officers were able to pull the man from the vehicle and arrest him at which time they located a loaded sawed-off shotgun directly beside the driver.

Also found in the vehicle were numerous stolen out-of-province licence plates, said police.

“This is another incident of the extremely dangerous actions some take to avoid capture,” said Sgt. Jason Bayda, spokesperson for the South Okanagan RCMP. “It is far too often our officers are faced with those willing to injure police simply to get away.”

The 22 year-old Penticton man faces potential firearms, property and assaulting police-related charges. He was released with a court appearance on April 21, 2021.

The injured officer remains on duty.

The incident was one that Penticton RCMP Supt. Brian Hunter commented on to council on Feb. 2.

“Just yesterday, one of our members was out on patrol, noticed a crime vehicle from a previous event, the person was passed out behind the wheel. We surrounded the vehicle with police cars, and the moment we woke the person up they had no interest in being apprehended. They rammed the police car, injured one of the members, and we were able to arrest them and they had a sawed-off shotgun next to them. When we’re dealing with those files, and there are other files of low priority, we can’t get to them,” Hunter said at the time.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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