A potentially deadly situation ended without injury late afternoon Friday with police deploying spike belts and using their own vehicles to stop suspects who were fleeing in a stolen vehicle on busy Highway 97.
“The RCMP would like to thank the public, who stayed away from the scene at the time of the incident given it was very dynamic involving these offenders who demonstrated a complete disregard for safety,” Williams Lake RCMP OIC Insp. Jeff Pelley said Monday.
According to court documents, Travis Hennessy, Jesse Juillette and Alexis Chin made their first court appearances relating to the pursuit in Williams Lake Provincial Court Monday, May 7.
Chin faces a charge of possession of a controlled substance under the CDS, as well as break and enter of a dwelling house, possession of stolen property and resisting arrest under the criminal code.
Hennessy faces one count of possession of stolen property.
Juillette faces charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, driving while prohibited, possession of stolen property and break and enter of a dwelling house.
Officers jumped into action at 5:17 p.m. Friday, May 4 when a member of the Prince George Police Dog Services observed a vehicle driving erratically along Highway 97, potentially placing other motorists in danger.
“Police immediately learned that the vehicle, a Ford F-350 pickup was stolen from Prince George and that the Alberta plates on the truck were also reported stolen,” Pelley said.
Williams Lake RCMP, general duty and traffic services, assisted the Prince George officer in attempts to stop the vehicle, including setting up two roadblocks at two locations with a spike belt deployed at each roadblock.
The suspect driver failed to stop at both roadblocks, however, the spike belt deployments were successful at both locations, deflating all four tires.
With police in pursuit, the suspect continued to drive south just on rims on Highway 97 into the Pine Valley area where police were able to use a vehicle maneuver to stop them.
The stolen white Ford pickup truck ended up in the steep ditch between Highway 97 and Pine Valley Road damaged, with police blocking its ability to move. Two males and one female were taken into custody.
“Contact was made between the suspect vehicle and the PDS vehicle which completely stopped the suspect vehicle. All three occupants fled the scene on foot but were quickly apprehended. All three, who are known to police, remain in police custody. There were no reported injuries,” Pelley said.
Pine Valley resident Cathy Dodd said she witnessed the entire incident from her home.
“I’ve seen enough cop shows and think it was a perfect pit maneuver. Great job by the RCMP to stop them,” Dobb told the Tribune Friday night.
Pelley said if any member of the public has obtained video of the apprehension of the suspects, it is requested they contact Cpl. Black of the RCMP at 250-392-6211.