Man sentenced after RCMP listen in on phone call during B.C. kidnapping

34-year old David Lee Chappell, originally from Nova Scotia, was sentenced to 5 and a half years in prison less time served after pleading guilty to a string of charges. File/Global News

A man from Nova Scotia has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison by a B.C. Supreme Court Judge after pleading guilty to a slew of charges, including kidnapping.

David Lee Chappell, 34, pleaded guilty to 16 charges in crimes spanning British Columbia and Alberta, including harassment of an ex-girlfriend, robbery, kidnapping, and theft of an electric toothbrush and clothing from a Walmart.

B.C. Supreme Court documents show Chappell’s crimes were all related to his addiction to crystal meth.

The kidnapping happened near Clearwater, B.C., in November 2017. Chappell was desperate to get to Alberta, where his daughter lives, and get more drugs.

He had borrowed a friend’s van — which, unbeknownst to him, was stolen. A Clearwater police officer saw him asleep at the driver’s seat of the van at a rest stop and approached him because he seemed impaired. Chappell resisted arrest and drove away north on Highway 5. The sliding door of the van was still open, and as police gave chase, they saw multiple items flying out onto the highway.

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Finally, Chappell got out of the van and tried to steal a truck that was parked in a pullout area near Blue River. He brandished a fake revolver and tried to tell the driver to get out of the truck, but the driver refused. The driver eventually got out and disconnected the vehicle’s air line as Chappell was getting in, telling him the truck was broken down.

Chappell ran across the highway to where another transport truck was parked. The driver was on the phone and watching what was going on. Chappell demanded the driver give him a ride, and court documents show the driver agreed because he thought the truck could be a deadly weapon in the hands of the wrong person.

The person on the other line with the driver heard everything that was happening, as the driver told Chappell he could take him to Abbotsford. They called the driver’s boss, who called the driver; the driver said he would have to take the call, or his boss would think something was wrong.

Unbeknownst to Chappell, RCMP were on the other line with the driver’s boss.

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The driver relayed information to RCMP through his boss about where they were, and that Chappell had a gun. Meanwhile, Chappell was dozing on and off in the passenger seat.

RCMP told the driver to pull over at the weigh scales near Kamloops. The driver told Chappell stopping was mandatory, and if he didn’t stop highway patrol would be on his tail.

When they pulled in, Mounties were there to greet them.

Chappell wasn’t done trying to escape; he stayed in the truck for 10 minutes, even as RCMP deployed tear gas into it. After the third round of tear gas, Chappell tried to drive the large truck away. He only got 100 metres before he lost control and the truck went into a ditch.

Chappell has been in custody since Nov. 6, 2017. Given credit for that time served, Chappell’s sentence is three and a half years.

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