Gunshots fired during arrest of man on trial in Penticton for kidnapping | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Gunshots fired during arrest of man on trial in Penticton for kidnapping

The trial of Afshin Ighani entered its second day today, Dec. 4, 2018.

PENTICTON - Testimony today from one of the officers involved in the arrest of a man on trial in Penticton on kidnapping and weapons charges described how he fired his weapon as the accused tried to get away.

Afshin Maleki Ighani, born in 1961, is on trial by judge alone in B.C. Supreme Court in Penticton on 10 counts, including two counts of kidnapping, several weapons offences, uttering threats and assault with a weapon. The trail began yesterday and is expected to take several days.

Cpl. Sean Hall today, Dec. 4, described the police actions that led to Ighani’s arrest at the Deblyn Trailer Park in Princeton on April 22, 2017.

Hall, along with Cpl. Jason Goodfellow and a police dog, drove to Princeton from Okanagan Falls after being called in to assist in Ighani’s arrest. By the time the officers reached the community, a helicopter search had located the suspect vehicle, a white Mercury Cougar, in the trailer park.

Hall said they spotted the vehicle and pulled up behind it, turning on their lights and sirens. The vehicle moved forward then slowly pulled over. He approached the side of the vehicle with his gun in hand and recognized Ighani in the front passenger seat.

He also noticed 26-year-old Jodie Walker in the driver’s seat and said she was “visibly upset and shaking.” He ordered Ighani out of the vehicle, and Ighani gave him a “calm, cold, stoic stare” as he reached toward the centre console with his right arm.

“I believed he was reaching for a gun,” Hall said, who then used the butt of his revolver to break the passenger door window, but failed to shatter the glass.

The vehicle then began to pull away and Hall fired at one of the vehicle’s tires, but hit the tire rim instead.

His gun then jammed from the attempts to shatter the window, forcing Hall to chase the vehicle for several metres, while he reloaded his gun. The car rounded a corner in the trailer park and was lost to view behind a trailer for a few moments.

When Hall sighted the vehicle again, Ighani had gotten out of the car and was running away. Cpl. Goodfellow was also in pursuit by this time, along with the police dog. They split up, chasing Ighani through the trailer park.

At one point, Ighani, seeing he was being pursued by the dog, lay down on the ground, but when the dog turned back to its handler, Ighani took off again.

“I lost visual sight of Cpl. Goodfellow and Ighani at that point. I tried to listen to get some bearings on where they had gone, and within a matter of a few seconds, Cpl. Goodfellow emerged from between a couple of trailers with Ighani in handcuffs," Hall told the court.

Hall said after catching his breath he made a formal arrest of Ighani on an outstanding warrant.

Court has also heard that Crown prosecutor John Swanson wants to use an interview recorded with police at the time of the incident as evidence in the trial now that key witness and victim Christopher William Gleige has apparently fled to the U.S.

Walker testified yesterday she has little recollection of the events surrounding the charges against Ighani. Following her testimony, a DVD recording was played of an interview that took place between RCMP Const. Chad Jackson and Walker the day of the incidents.

Walker expressed fears of retribution for giving evidence against the accused, at one point telling the officer Ighani was “one of the worst I’ve ever seen” to hold a grudge. After viewing the video, Walker said she didn’t recognize herself in the interview.

Swanson told Judge Nitya Iyer he planned to make an application to have the recording made an exhibit for truth of content. Defence lawyer Paul McMurray said he would oppose the application.

The trial continues tomorrow with Walker expected to take the stand again.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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