Lake Country man suspected in two-day crime spree in Castlegar

28-year-old man faces 13 charges, including assault with a weapon and flight from police

Castlegar RCMP say they are continuing their investigation into they describe as the “alleged criminal behaviour” of a 28-year-old Lake Country man in the Kootenay city.

The police in Castlegar say they first had contact with Byrne Nov. 6. when an officer attempted to stop a pick-up truck for a burnt out headlight on Robson Access Rd near Castlegar at 1:30 a.m. The driver refused to stop and fled at a high rate of speed, at which time the officer did not initiate a pursuit.

The officer watched the vehicle enter an dead end road and the saw it exit the same road as it sped past him. A second officer arrived to assist and spotted the pick-up on the Robson Bridge in Castlegar. The driver then pulled a U-turn and headed back towards the police vehicle and struck it as it sped away.

The officers spotted the truck a third time, as it sped down another dead end road and attempted to set up a spike belt but the truck came back at a high rate of speed before the officers could deploy the spike belt. The truck accelerated past the unoccupied police vehicles and failed to negotiate a sharp corner at the intersection of Lakeview St and Arrow Lakes Dr, striking a cement barrier and was lodged on top of it. The driver was taken into custody at the scene.

Officers found just over $10,000.00 in cash in the truck along with and a small amount of suspected methamphetamine and a small amount of cannabis in the truck. The driver, uninjured, spent the night in jail and was released.

Meanwhile, on the morning of Nov. a man allegedly assaulted and attempted to rob a woman while she was giving him a ride. The woman managed to get away and the man stole her vehicle. Witnesses saw the stolen vehicle speed through a large construction zone in the city, almost running over a flagger and several workers. The vehicle headed west on Highway 3 until he got a flat tire.

The driver was reported to have then tried to force an unsuspecting motorist in a pick-up truck off the road. The pick-up eventually stopped avoiding a collision, however the fleeing driver assaulted the driver of the pick-up and tried to steal his truck. A passing semi-truck driver saw the incident and stopped to help and the first driver was subdued. The man then “negotiated” his release and attempted to steal the semi-truck.

Eventually the semi-truck driver was able to gain overpower the fleeing man and held him for police.

“Investigators confirmed that it was one and the same individual who had been released from custody,” said RCMP Cpl Dan Moskaluk.

The man, identified as Sean Patrick Byrne from Lake Country, is now facing a total of 13 charges including robbery, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, flight from police, impaired driving, assault, and assault with a weapon, theft, possession of stolen property, and drug charges, said Moskaluk.

Byrne appeared in Rossland court Thursday and will be held in custody until Dec. 6.

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