Suspect flees scene by riding an ice block down New Brunswick river: RCMP

Emergency crews are seen here during the water rescue of a man on the Petitcodiac River on Thursday. RCMP in New Brunswick now say that the man they were attempting to help had just fled from the scene of an assault. Shelley Steeves/ Global News

RCMP say a Moncton man who floated down the Petitcodiac River on an ice block was actually fleeing from the scene of an alleged crime.

The unusual and dangerous “getaway” prompted an extensive rescue operation.

At about 6 a.m. on Thursday, Codiac RCMP responded to an assault complaint at a home on Salisbury Road in Moncton. When officers arrived, the suspect had fled the scene.

At this point, a man was “spotted on a large piece of ice floating in the Petitcodiac River,” according to RCMP.

READ MORE: Man ‘lucky to be alive’ following ice rescue on Petitcodiac River

About 30 firefighters from Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe all responded to the call on Thursday morning. They attempted to throw the man a rope, toss him a personal floatation device, and even tried to launch a boat during low tide.

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Throughout their attempts, the man refused their help.

Officials then called in the coast guard and a military search and rescue team.

The man eventually made his way off the ice block by himself, and walked across the marsh to Riverview, where he was intercepted by RCMP.

“He’s very lucky to still be with us,” said Dieppe’s District Fire Chief Marc Cormier shortly after the rescue on Thursday.

“He stepped off the ice block on his own and walked towards dry land and then he was spotted by firefighters and that was where he was rescued.”

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Mike Delahunt, 34, has been charged with two counts of assault, one count of uttering threats, one count of damage to property and two counts of breaching probation.

He was remanded in custody and will have a bail hearing on Feb. 26.

With a file from Morganne Campbell

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