EDMONTON- RCMP say a 62 year-old man is facing charges after an officer was injured during a traffic stop in northwestern Alberta Wednesday.
Leonard Berry of Spirit River, Alberta has been charged with Aggravated Assault of a Police Officer and Causing Bodily Harm by Criminal Negligence.
Spirit River RCMP say he was arrested without incident, shortly after 4:30 p.m. Thursday at a rural residence near Wanham. He was remanded in custody following a judicial interim release hearing held Friday morning, with his next appearance scheduled for August 21 in Grande Prairie.
Around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, RCMP responded to a call of an erratic driver near Wanham. The driver was in the area of Highway 733 and Highway 49, which is about 90 kilometres northeast of Grande Prairie.
A truck driver who arrived at the scene a couple of hours later says he spoke to a person who witnessed the altercation.
“(I) got out and asked what was going on, and was informed that – from the emergency responders – that a police officer was doing a routine stop, and during the stop at some point the assailant got out, attacked the police officer and strangled him, with a fight, basically took right into the ditch where the officer was left, presumably left for dead,” Johnathon Hiscock explained.
“When I was pulling up, the STARS Air Ambulance was off in the distance, already dispatched off. We were held at bay until the police released all the vehicles in the area.”
The Mayor of Spirit River says the injured officer, a male, has lived in the community for about three years and was recently married. Allan Georget says the incident is very concerning.
“This is just a tragic event that happened in our community. We’re all very concerned. When I first heard about the incident from my fellow co-workers, my heart just fell,” he explained.
The officer remained in hospital in stable condition Thursday. On Friday, RCMP said it’s hoped he will be released from hospital within the next several days.
RCMP are not looking for any other suspects in connection with this incident.