"IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT PERIODS OF INCARCERATION HAVE AFFECTED HIM."
KELOWNA – A Kelowna man with an extensive criminal history is being sentenced for using a stolen truck to ram a police car as he tried to evade arrest only one year after being released from prison for a 2005 manslaughter conviction.
"It was only through good fortune no pedestrians or motorists were struck or harmed," Crown lawyer Kurt Froehlich said Thursday. "The danger... presented to the public was both real and serious."
On Dec. 4, 2013, two plainclothes police officers were conducting surveillance on a property on Hein Road in Kelowna when they spotted an older model pickup truck that was reported stolen from Merritt that day.
The two officers called for backup but before they arrived, saw Daniel J. Mader, 31, and a female passenger drive away in the truck. The officers followed them in an unmarked vehicle to a parking lot on Homer Rd. where they were joined by a second unmarked police SUV. The officers in the Tahoe pulled into the lot and engaged their emergency lights.
Court heard Wednesday that Mader was seen talking on a cell phone and looking back at the police vehicle parked 15 to 20 meters away.
According to Froehlich, police exited their vehicles but as they were walking towards Mader, he reversed and slammed into the closest police vehicle, pushing it backwards onto Homer Road.
One of the officers drew his gun and aimed it at Mader, who “stared back at them and revved the engine.”
An officer then broke the driver’s side window with the butt of his gun and Mader sped away, narrowly missing one of the officers. He broke through a chain-link fence, went over a dirt mound and landed at the edge of Highway 33. He continued across a sidewalk in the westbound lane and proceeded east on Highway 33.
At 1:14 p.m. a woman called 911 to report a pickup truck driving erratically at the intersection of Hollywood Road South and Springfield Road. She followed the pickup down Springfield Road and saw him weaving into oncoming traffic before turning north onto Graham Road.
After losing him for several minutes, she eventually found the truck stopped on Mark Road and saw a man and woman get out of the truck and flee on foot toward Springfield Road.
According to police the vehicle was found idling without a key in the ignition and with a damaged steering column and broken driver’s side window.
An RCMP dog was unable to locate either suspect.
Around two hours later police called a phone number associated with Mader and spoke with Mader's girlfriend, who admitted to being in the vehicle with Mader.
She told police they were “scared and thought they had run over a policeman” but refused to turn herself in. Mader's lawyer told court Thursday he fled because he thought the plainclothes police officers were criminals trying to kill him.
Two days later her mother phoned West Kelowna RCMP and said both Mader and his girlfriend were recently at her house on Pritchard Drive and left behind some items. The items turned out to belong to the man who had reported his truck stolen two days prior. The items included insurance papers, a small welder and other personal papers.
An airsoft gun and licence plate were also found at the house.
Police were given Mader’s cell phone number and traced the phone to a location on Dilworth Drive where they found Mader standing outside a lighting store wearing a blonde wig. Mader ran towards the back of the business where he was apprehended by police without further incident.
Mader pleaded guilty to four of five charges, however the sentencing was postponed when Justice Peter Rogers found out Mader is of Metis descent.
Under Canadian law, courts are required to “take into account all reasonable alternatives to incarceration” when sentencing people of aboriginal descent. Courts generally rule the Gladue Principle inappropriate when the crime is serious or in cases where protection of the public is a factor.
Justice Rogers ordered a Gladue report be prepared and Mader will appear again in court January 5.
Mader has a history of mental disorders and drug abuse and has 16 prior convictions including manslaughter in 2010 for which he spent 8.5 years in prison.
“Mr. Mader’s criminal record over last four years represents a continuing pattern of criminal conduct,” Froehlich said. “He's not a youthful first-time offender... it does not appear that periods of incarceration have affected him."
The Crown is asking for a sentence of four to five years with two years of probation.
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