April 01, 2016 - 9:55 AM
KELOWNA – A RCMP officer responding to call about an assault in downtown Kelowna this morning wound up getting assaulted himself.
Const. Jesse O'Donaghey says a man in his early 40s from Chase, B.C. was reportedly behaving very irrationally at around 8:30 a.m. on Friday, April 1. He allegedly assaulted a West Kelowna man in the alleyway behind Prospera Place but fled on foot towards Ellis Street when friends of the victim showed up.
O’Donaghey says the suspect allegedly then stole a child’s backpack and assaulted the girl’s 45-year-old father before fleeing again, this time in a grey Ford sedan.
“An RCMP officer who was stationary in the area of Ellis Street and the Queensway bus loop, had been approached by civilian witnesses who reported the assaults to the officer,” O’Donaghey says. “The officer who turned his vehicle to respond to the scene of the alleged assaults, was broadsided by the alleged suspect vehicle believed to be fleeing the area."
“Preliminary information from witness accounts suggest the suspect vehicle may have accelerated prior to the impact. Witnesses also report that the suspect exited his vehicle after the crash and advanced on the police officer from the passenger side of the vehicle.”
David Sharpe was working at a nearby construction site when he heard the crash. Being trained with first aid he ran to see if anyone was hurt and saw the suspect assaulting the officer.
"His whole upper body was inside the officer's vehicle and he was pummeling him," he says.
When he saw what was happening, Sharpe pulled the suspect off the officer. More workers came to help and together they held the man until more police could arrive.
"My main concern was trying to see if there were any injuries," Sharpe says. "I'm not a vigilante I was just went over to help. When I pulled the guy off the cop, the cop came up slowly from the passenger seat and looked really dazed. Everything happened real fast."
Sharpe says the suspect was possibly under the influence.
"He seemed to be on drugs," he says. "Very bizarre. Once we had (the suspect) on the ground he became unresponsive. I was trying to do my first aid on him... but there didn't seem to be any injuries... I just kept him (immobilized) until officers arrived."
A 42-year-old man from Chase, B.C., who is known to police, is in custody and faces potential charges of assault, robbery, aggravated assault, assault of a police officer and resist lawful arrest.
Both the officer and suspect were treated for non-life threatening injuries.
If you witnessed this crash or the preceding alleged assaults and have not yet spoken to police you are asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300. Remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.
— This story was updated at 1 p.m., Friday, April 1, 2016 to include information provided by RCMP.
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