Man who took Salmon Arm RCMP on wild chase sentenced

Man who took Salmon Arm RCMP on wild chase sentenced

Accused pleads guilty to flight from peace officer, driving while prohibited

A man who led police on a lengthy chase that ended in the Fly Hills was sentenced to eight months in prison on May 7.

Steven Stuart Douglas Gardner, 23, pleaded guilty to fleeing from a peace officer and driving while prohibited.

The offences took place on Aug. 23, 2018; the accused has been in prison since September. He appeared via video in Provincial Court in Salmon Arm from the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre.

Judge Dennis Morgan heard that the offence began about 4 p.m. when a Salmon Arm police officer in an unmarked car saw the accused driving a late ’90s white Grand Cherokee heading east into the city. The officer knew the accused from numerous dealings over the previous seven years.

Another officer saw him and did a U-turn on 30th Street SW in an attempt to stop him, the court heard. The accused headed onto the Trans-Canada Highway at high speed. The constable thought the accused might have spotted the unmarked vehicle as he is familiar with them.

The officer knew he was prohibited from driving and had been released from jail on July 18. He began following on 10th Avenue SW and soon saw the vehicle concealed behind a large truck. The vehicle began backing out; the officer tried pulling up beside him.

Read more: Police chase military tank down U.S. streets

Read more: Video – Texas man on a tractor leads police on slow chase

Read more: Police chase accused drug dealer through restaurant

Read more: Hours-long pursuit ends in arrests of two suspects in B.C. Interior

The Jeep’s windows were open and the officer shouted, “Stop Steven, don’t do it.” However, the accused did a 360 with tires squealing and took off, blowing through two stop signs, the court heard.

Later the first officer, on Salmon River Road, saw the vehicle heading back to Salmon Arm. He caught up to it and followed as it went up Christison Road and then began accelerating up Fly Hills Road. The officer followed him for about 20 kilometres until the vehicle turned off on a side road. The officer stopped to call in back-up in case he was armed.

An RCMP plane was called in and spike belts were set up, but the vehicle was not found. Police surmised the accused parked it in trees to conceal it.

In sentencing Gardner, Judge Morgan noted this was not the first time for such offences, having been charged before with dangerous driving, flight from police and driving while prohibited.

Crown counsel Bill Hilderman described him as “a serious menace on the road.”

Crown and defence counsel prepared a joint submission for sentencing, requesting an eight-month jail sentence minus time served.

Defence lawyer Glenn Verdurmen noted that Gardner is young, has had a common-law spouse for three years and they are expecting a baby in the next week or two. He said he has taken many courses while in prison ranging from substance abuse management to healthy relationships. He is awaiting entrance to a drug treatment facility.

“He’s quite young but obviously leading up to 2018 he made some incredibly bad choices… He’s made bad choices but is obviously motivated to make a change in his life.”

The judge agreed with the joint submission, expressing hope that the treatment centre and the responsibility of a child will change his life.

Minus time served of nearly six months, Gardner will serve two months and six days in prison. He must pay a mandatory fine of $500 by May 1, 2020 and he is prohibited from driving a vehicle for two years.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic planned for Kelowna

Clinic at Kelowna Secondary School from June 22 to 24 from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read