Kelowna man shot by police in high-stakes takedown sentenced to time served | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna man shot by police in high-stakes takedown sentenced to time served

Jon Michael Aronson
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

KELOWNA - The Kelowna man who was shot by police at a CIBC parking lot in January 2018 says he regrets the choices that led him to that near-deadly run-in and is a changed man.

“Almost dying was an eye-opener for me,” John Michael Aronson said in court today, Sept. 23 as he was sentenced to time-served on charges including flight from police and dangerous driving.

“I want to be there for my children. I’ve got a different focus on my life. I’m sorry (for) what I did. You won’t see me back here again.”

Aronson, who now uses a cane to get around, had a long history with RCMP before he landed in their crosshairs in 2018, with more than 30 prior convictions for crimes including driving while suspended as well as multiple assault and resisting arrest charges.

On Jan. 11, 2018 he was continuing in the fashion he was accustomed to, when RCMP caught sight of him speeding excessively, running red lights and weaving in.

Crown counsel Dave Ruse told the court RCMP chose not to follow him as it may have caused further risk to the public. But then, on Jan 22, 2018, Aronson assaulted two people in another vehicle with pepper spray so RCMP planned a high-risk arrest for Jan. 23 2018.

A GPS tracking system had been placed on his late-model Tahoe, according to the statement of facts read aloud to the court today. 

Using the OnStar system RCMP members dealing with Aronson thought they would be able to disable the vehicle but, when they pulled up the truck sped away.

They caught up with him again at Orchard Park Mall, near CIBC.

The truck parked and Aronson and a woman got out. At some point, police later discovered, brass knuckles, firearms and several knives, were thrown beneath the vehicle.

Aronson and the woman got into a taxi, but it was stopped and Aronson fled on foot.

He then jumped into a vehicle outside the bank and drove toward a policeman, Ruse said.

Thinking Aronson would not stop, shots were fired into the car. Not knowing if Aronson was armed, Mounties sent in two police dogs to extract him from the vehicle.

It was a high profile takedown with many witnesses and came at a cost for Aronson who suffered two gunshot wounds and several lacerations from K9s who ultimately took him down.

Ruse told the court Aronson was in an induced coma for six days and had 107 stitches and staples from the dog bites and 37 stitches and staples from the gunshot wounds.

He was in the hospital for 25 days and confined to a wheelchair for five months.

Defence lawyer Jordan Watt told the court that Aronson was 31 years old, had three children, aged 12, nine and six and had worked as a carpenter on an off for nine years.

He suffers from ADHD, PTSD, anxiety and depression and was in and out of foster care growing up, where he suffered physical and mental abuse.

His twin brother died at a young age and through his younger years, he became addicted to cocaine and later, opioids.

While he had a long list of crimes under his belt, the court found that the near-death ordeal he faced had to be factored into his sentence.

Aronson was in jail for 251 days and credited with time and a half for that period, amounting to 12.5 months served.

For fleeing police he was sentenced to eight months while the dangerous driving charge sentence was 4.5 months — he will serve them consecutively. Remaining lesser charges will be served concurrent to that 12.5 months.

While Aronson will not have more time in custody, he will be on probation for two years, prohibited from driving for five years and will face a lifetime ban on weapons. A DNA sample was also ordered.

He pleaded guilty today, Sept. 23, on what was supposed to be a preliminary inquiry into the case.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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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