Suspect charged after threats, ramming police car

A Victoria man will be spending the holidays in police custody following a chain of events that began with threats and an assault at a Duncan 7-Eleven last Wednesday.

Around 10:30 p.m., the North Cowichan/ Duncan RCMP received a call from the 7-Eleven on Lakes Road reporting that an employee had been threatened by a man, and when he was told to leave, he struck her with the store’s door. The vehicle he left in matched the description of one that had been stolen on Dec. 1.

Plainclothes officers nearby spotted the stolen 2014 Hyundai and followed it as it turned north on the Trans-Canada Highway toward Chemainus.

"They were waiting for him to stop, to minimize the danger this man posed to the community," Cpl. Krista Hobday explained. "Each time the police tried to stop this car in the past, the thief would speed away with reckless disregard for public safety. The suspect was wanted across Vancouver Island for endangering the citizens of numerous communities."

As the suspect headed north, other officers with marked police cars set up a roadblock near Chemainus with a tire-deflation device to stop him safely. Moments before he reached the roadblock, however, he turned left into a gas station where he noticed police vehicles awaiting his arrival. He rammed a police car before heading west down a road the police knew was a dead end.

As the Hyundai slowed down, a passenger who had been picked up hitchhiking jumped out of the vehicle. At the end of the road a resident’s fence put a stop to the car.

"Thankfully, the hitchhiker was able to get out uninjured, but they were shaken up," Cpl. Jon Stuart said. The police were also concerned about why the suspect was alerted to the roadblock. "Why did he turn left and avoid the Mounties’ carefully constructed plan?" Sgt. Chris Swain asked. "Quite simply, he was warned by southbound motorists that a road block was imminent, by flashing their

high beams."

Hobday cautioned motorists not to alert their fellow drivers to roadblocks, for various reasons. "The officers serving your community at North Cowichan/Duncan detachment and across the province continue, even during the holiday season, to take dangerous criminals off of our streets in the safest way possible," she said. "We would appreciate your assistance with this.

One could argue that the person flicking their high beams couldn’t have known the history of the prolific offender they were warning. What they should know is that warning possible thieves and drunk drivers with whom they are sharing the road is in fact putting themselves, their families, and others at risk. The police are working hard to keep those who contravene the Criminal Code and Motor Vehicle Act off of the road to make driving safer for everyone."

The suspect in last Wednesday’s events, 31-year-old Peter Charles Leno, was arrested and made his first appearance in Duncan Provincial Court the following day. He is charged with assault and making threats, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property, evading a police officer, and two counts of mischief to property.

"Stay safe this holiday season and please do not drink and drive," Swain added. "P.S.: Please also don’t steal cars either."

Just Posted

Sierra Acton, regional district director for Shawnigan Lake. (file photo)
New parkland in Shawnigan creating connections

Used to created parking for the popular Masons Beach Park

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: This could be the worst thing done to you during the pandemic

As a result, all of us will contend with more ‘scarcity’ thinking and mindset.

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read