Okanagan man in custody after two-day driving rampage
A Lake Country man will be held in custody until early December after a two-day rampage that included dangerous driving and attempted robbery.
According to Castlegar RCMP, Sean Patrick Byrne, 28, is facing several charges after an attempted traffic stop that spun wildly out of control. The potential charges also include assault and flight from police.
RCMP allege that that on Tuesday, November 6th, an officer attempted to stop Byrne on Robson Access Road near Castlegar for having a burned-out headlight. Police say Byrne refused to stop his truck and fled at a high rate of speed. Pursuit wasn’t initiated, but the officer reportedly witnessed Byrne enter an eventual dead-end road. Byrne turned around and exited the road, speeding past the officer.
A second police car then attended and spotted Byrne on Robson Bridge. The suspect driver is alleged to have made a u-turn and headed back towards the police car, striking it as it sped away.
The truck was spotted a third time as it sped down another dead-end road, and officers tried setting up a spike belt. The truck, though, sped past officers at a high speed before the spike belt could be set up. However, it failed to negotiate a sharp corner at Lakeview Street and Arrow Lakes Drive, hitting a cement barrier and becoming lodged on top of it.
The officers arrived at the crash scene and took Byrne into custody. Police said they also located just over $10,000 in cash plus small amounts of methamphetamine and cannabis in the truck. Byrne, uninjured, was processed and eventually released.
The next day, though, Wednesday, November 7th, police allege that Byrne tried to rob a woman who was giving him a ride. The woman managed to get away, but Byrne stole her vehicle. According to police, witnesses saw the stolen vehicle travel through a construction zone on Columbia Avenue at a high rate of speed, almost striking a flagger and several workers.
It’s alleged that Byrne fled west on Highway 3 until he got a flat tire. After that, he tried to force a truck off the road, with that driver eventually stopping to avoid a collision. Byrne then reportedly assaulted the driver and tried to steal the truck.
The driver of a semi-truck witnessed what was going on and stopped to help, with Byrne being subdued.
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Police say that Byrne somehow negotiated his release, then tried to steal the semi, but was subdued again and was held until police arrived.
“Investigators confirmed that it was one and the same individual that had been released from custody,” said RCMP Cst. Dan Moskaluk. “The male, identified as Sean Patrick Byrne from Lake Country, is now facing a total of 13 charges including robbery, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, flight from police, impaired driving, assault, and assault with a weapon, theft, possession of stolen property, and drug charges.”
Castlegar RCMP say Byrne appeared in Rossland court on Thursday and will be held in custody until December 6th.