A 57-year-old man has been arrested, after being pepper-sprayed and tasered, after allegedly driving his car into a number of police vehicles in Nanaimo late last night.
According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, the man is in custody and facing numerous driving charges with damage numbering in the thousands of dollars to four police vehicles.
The first incident, at about 11:45 p.m. on March 15, began when an officer in a marked police vehicle was allegedly side-swiped by a grey pickup truck in the northbound lane near the intersection of Terminal Avenue and Comox Road, said the press release. At the time of the collision, the officer had all of his emergency equipment activated, including the siren, and was heading to assist another officer with an unrelated call. The suspect vehicle didn’t stop after hitting the police vehicle, alleges the press release, and continued at high speed northbound through the Terminal-Comox intersection.
The officer was not injured and called in a description of the vehicle to fellow members, who spotted it moments later, said the press release, and began following it to the intersection of Prideaux and Fitzwilliam streets. At the time, the driver allegedly appeared to steer the truck intentionally into two other police vehicles parked on the side of the street. After the collision, the suspect is alleged to have driven into the side of a building.
Police were able to pin the vehicle as it was trying to back up, the press release said. The suspect is then alleged to have charged at an officer, but was tasered, pepper-sprayed, subdued and handcuffed.
In all, two police vehicles sustained extensive damage, while two had superficial damage, said the press release, but all are out of commission until repairs are made.
“This incident highlights the dangers police officers may encounter on any given day, with individuals who, for unknown reasons, want to cause injury to the officers or to destroy police property,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, in the press release. “Fortunately, no officers were injured in this rampage and all were able to continue on with their duties for the remainder of their shift.”
The man was scheduled to appear in B.C. provincial court in Nanaimo today, March 16, said the press release.