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UPDATE: Clearwater RCMP chase, apprehend prohibited driver

Mounties say the suspect fled from police
Tactical Armoured Vehicle (TAV) headed back to ERT headquarters in Kelowna after being called out by Clearwater RCMP for support in apprehending a suspect known to police who fled on foot in a wooded area off Highway 24 on April 8. (Photo by: Barry Buck)

Clearwater RCMP called in support from the Southeast District Emergency Response Team (ERT) late Monday night at approximately midnight on April 8. A U-Haul was spotted by an on-duty officer at a residence that has been under surveillance on Jenkins Road in Clearwater. The rental vehicle was driven by a prohibited driver known to police.

Clearwater RCMP member Const. Klassen followed the U-Haul and noted it was driving “quite erratically,” reports detachment commander Sgt. Grant Simpson.

According to Simpson, the U-Haul turned around at Little Fort, realizing police were behind him, then speeding up Highway 24 with RCMP in pursuit, turning onto Lemieux Creek Road.

“At that point Const. Klassen activated his emergency equipment. The suspect pulled the U-Haul into a driveway and became high-centred in the driveway and then took off on foot into nearby bush.”

Simpson says this is typical behaviour of this repeat offender and not the first time police have tracked him down like this.

“Upon leaving the vehicle, the suspect dropped a bag which he discarded fairly quickly after leaving the vehicle. Const. Klassen retrieved the bag and found a 9mm magazine for a handgun inside at which time the officer stopped the pursuit and wisely so,” said Simpson.

Because a firearm could have been involved, critical incident command was immediately notified, activating ERT response along with two dog teams, drones and a Tactical Armoured Vehicle (TAV) to engage in a search for the suspect.

“He had a lot of time to get away before ERT or the dog teams arrived. Const. Klassen called out a backup member right away but with just two or three members in such a large rural area it’s hard to contain it. Our members did the best that they could.”

Sgt. Simpson says this isn’t the first time this suspect has done this and that he is known to run to escape police because he is driving while prohibited.

The police continued to search the area and at approximately 2:30 p.m. Const. Meyer and Sgt. Simpson apprehended the suspect in the Lemieux Creek area. He is being held pending charges.

This story was updated to clarify a 9mm magazine was tossed, not a gun

Tactical Armoured Vehicle (TAV) used by the Southeast District Emergency Response Team (SED ERT) to assist in critical incidents was called out in support of Clearwater RCMP seeking a suspect that abandoned a rental U-Haul which he was driving while prohibited. RCMP found a 9mm magazine for a handgun the suspect discarded when he fled the scene. (Photo by: Barry Buck)