Man facing 24 charges after standoff with RCMP near Swan Hills
A 42-year-old man is facing two dozen charges after allegedly fleeing police in a stolen vehicle before barricading himself inside a second stolen vehicle off Highway 33.
RCMP said the incident started at around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, when Faust officers stopped a vehicle that was reported stolen out of Slave Lake near Range Road 102 and Township Road 734.
According to RCMP, the man inside stopped the vehicle but ran into the woods. The officer heard what he thought was a gunshot while the man ran away. The officer was not injured. Police searched an unoccupied building, but didn’t find the man there.
“A short time later the suspect stole another vehicle near the area brandishing what a witness believed to be a firearm,” RCMP said in a news release Thursday. “The lone occupant of the vehicle was not injured and the suspect fled.”
Road blocks were set up in the surrounding area and RCMP found the stolen vehicle driving along Highway 33.
READ MORE: Armed standoff near Swan Hills ended: RCMP
After a brief pursuit, the suspect lost control of the vehicle and hit the ditch near the hamlet of Kinuso, Alta.
“The suspect was armed and barricaded in the vehicle and when police went to arrest him he threatened to take his own life,” RCMP said in the news release.
RCMP had asked drivers to avoid Highway 33 between Highway 2 and Swan Hills late Wednesday afternoon as officers responded to the standoff.
At about midnight, the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team, which is based out of Edmonton, arrested the suspect without incident, police said.
“The suspect suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from hospital into police custody,” RCMP said.
Other resources involved included RCMP Air Services, RCMP from Slave Lake, Swan Hills and High Prairie and police dog services.
Shortly after 11 p.m. RCMP tweeted out an update, saying the situation on Highway 33 had ended. The highway was re-opened at 1 a.m. Thursday.
On Friday, RCMP said Charles Edward Bleakley, 42, was charged with 24 Criminal Code offences including two counts of failing to stop for a police officer, dangerous operation of a vehicle, resisting arrest, discharging a firearm with the intent to wound, uttering a death threat, robbery and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Bleakley remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court in Slave Lake on March 15 via CCTV.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc