Langley RCMP have a suspect in custody after he fled from police, drove over a spike belt, and sped around rural Langley and Aldergrove for more than half an hour Monday morning.
The incident began with a minor call at 10:10 a.m., said Cpl. Craig Van Herk, a spokesperson for the Langley RCMP – officers were alerted that an SUV was idling in a parking lot in the 23500 block of Fraser Highway, with the driver apparently asleep or passed out at the wheel.
Police headed out to check on the driver’s welfare, but on the way, they ran the license plate and learned that the same vehicle had failed to stop for police the night before in Surrey.
The vehicle drove off before the first officers arrived, so unmarked cars trailed it, and when more marked cars were in the area, they tried to perform a traffic stop.
“At that point, the driver of the vehicle fled,” said Van Herk.
The driver sped off, and police continued tailing him. Although police sometimes lost contact with the vehicle, members of the public repeatedly called in tips about its whereabouts, which officers greatly appreciated, Van Herk said.
At one point, officers managed to throw a spike belt out in the vehicle’s path.
Alison Birkhiem Linden was waiting at the stop light at 240th Street and 56th Avenue Monday morning (Oct. 28) when police “swarmed” the area in pursuit of a dark coloured SUV.
Linden estimated that around 10:40 a.m., as many as seven to nine police vehicles arrived in the area “within about 30 to 40 seconds of each other.”
“Then all of a sudden, the truck came barrelling out of a driveway.”
One police officer threw a strike belt in the path of the SUV, which drove over the spikes and continued down 56th Avenue.
“It was very surreal,” said Linden.
The driver finally abandoned the vehicle in a driveway near Aldergrove, and then ran away on foot.
Fortunately, the officers had a police service dog and handler with them, and after a lengthy track on foot, the suspect was arrested.
He has not been charged yet, but remained in custody as of Monday afternoon, Van Herk said.
The man is a prohibited driver, and he could face charges of failing to stop and flight from police.
The vehicle, a dark-coloured SUV, is not his, but has not been reported stolen. Police are still investigating.
Van Herk said he doesn’t believe there was ever a full high-speed pursuit of the vehicle. Police tried to keep it in view or used tips from the public to track it. However, anyone in the area would have seen numerous RCMP cruisers heading towards the vehicle with lights and sirens on.
“Thankfully, everyone was safe,” said Van Herk.