A man and a woman are in custody after allegedly assaulting a group of teens in East Kelowna, then later trying to flee from police.
Kelowna RCMP say the incident began on Tuesday at noon, near Gulley Road, and that a 29-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman from the Kelowna area are facing a number of potential charges.
According to police, as many as nine teens were approached and allegedly assaulted by the man and woman, with the students calling 911 for assistance.
The two suspects then fled the area in a grey Acura SUV, but wound up ramming an occupied red SUV that was associated to the group of students.
Police say the driver of the red SUV reportedly suffered minor injuries from the collision.
That driver was Ethan Rheault, who said the shocking incident took place at a cul-de-sac “where we sit at every day.”
Rheault said as he was making his way there, a friend came running towards him with his hands up in the air, telling him something bizarre was unfolding.
“So I drove up farther,” said Rheault, stating his friend had already been maced in the face but managed to call police on his cellphone. “I pull up and manage to block the exit off and we all start screaming at them.”
Rheault claimed the suspects pulled out a bat and a hunting knife. He also said the driver of the grey SUV looked at him and said he was going to plow into his red SUV.
“I didn’t think he was going to do it, honestly,” said Rheault, “but I wasn’t going to let him go.”
Rheault said the driver put the grey SUV into reverse and hit his SUV “dead-on” before fleeing the scene.
Rheault said the impact occurred quickly, with police arriving shortly thereafter.
Kelowna RCMP say frontline officers responded immediately to the area and attempted to stop the suspect vehicle, but that it did not stop for police, though it was later located near Highway 33 and McCulloch Road.
“A tire deflation device, deployed by frontline officers, effectively disabled the suspect vehicle on a rural forestry road and the occupants fled on foot,” said RCMP Const. Solana Paré, noting Police Dog Services and air services were used to track the vehicle.
“The man and woman, who, according to the arresting officers, were grateful to see police after taking an unplanned trek through the snow, were taken into custody without further incident.”
Police say the grey Acura SUV had been stolen from the Kelowna area two weeks ago, and that it contained suspected stolen property that had been reported from a delivery vehicle earlier that day.
In a press conference, police did not say what type of weapon was used in the alleged assault, but did confirm the suspects were facing charges that included possession of property obtained by crime.