Escape attempt results in two damaged cruisers — and arrest

It cost them damage to two cruisers, required the help of police dog services and involved travel from Penticton to Twin Lakes, but South Okanagan Mounties eventually got their man.

Local RCMP is reporting an attempt to stop a stolen vehicle Tuesday resulted in the driver of the vehicle twice ramming police cruisers in his effort to escape justice.

“Officers with the “Targeted Enforcement Unit” (TEU) . . . attempted to arrest the occupants when it parked in a Penticton motel parking lot,” said Cst. James Grandy. “When (the driver) saw police moving in, he reversed the stolen truck into a police vehicle and was able to drive out of the parking lot.”

Officers, with the assistance of Police Dog Services, located the vehicle near a Twin Lakes gas station, Cst. Grandy said. But the suspect saw police moving in, got back into the vehicle, “put it into gear, and violently rammed a police vehicle a second time.

“(The suspect) was able to drive out of the gas station, and onto the highway, where he lost some control, enabling officers to nudge it safely into a ditch,” Cst. Grandy said.

Two occupants exited the truck and ran off; however, a police dog caught up to them and was able to subdue them until officers could make an arrest.

The two occupants were both held in custody facing numerous charges.

Ronald Stewart, 43, is charged with assaulting a police officer with a weapon, possessing stolen property and dangerous driving.

“Criminals using vehicles to ram police vehicles are becoming increasingly common,” said the TEU’s Cpl. Van Every. “Having no regard for public or Police safety, this type of despicable behaviour will not be tolerated.”

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