Three suspects were arrested at gunpoint after one of them drove a car – allegedly containing drugs and weapons – directly toward RCMP officers standing in the road.
The incident happened Saturday morning, March 27, on a logging road near the intersection of Nanaimo Lakes Road and South Forks Road. Nanaimo RCMP were notified shortly after 8 a.m. about three people who appeared to be slumped over in a parked vehicle.
“An officer responded with other members as the vehicle was registered to an individual who is well-known to police for being involved in criminal activity,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.
As the officers arrived, the older model Honda Accord appeared to slowly approach police.
“At this time the officer believed, based on the information he’d previously received, that the driver was maybe impaired by drugs or was having a medical emergency,” O’Brien said. “Officers got out of their vehicles to approach the suspect’s vehicle and when it got within about 25 metres of the officers, the driver suddenly accelerated at a high rate of speed and drove directly toward where the officers were standing.”
A third RCMP member then moved his vehicle to block the oncoming car and collided with it, forcing the suspect vehicle into a ditch.
The officers recognized all the occupants, O’Brien said, and with guns drawn, ordered them out of the car and placed them under arrest.
“The officers observed a significant amount of suspected crystal methamphetamine in the vehicle and drug paraphernalia,” O’Brien said, adding that police also found undisclosed amounts of cash and knives.
The driver was arrested for flight from police and possession of a controlled substance and is under investigation for impaired driving. He was also operating the car under a driving suspension. The other two suspects are under investigation for possession for the purpose of trafficking.
O’Brien said the suspects were released later that day and no charges have been formally laid as the investigation is continuing.
“It was a very volatile situation,” O’Brien said. “The police officers handled it well. Their firearms were drawn because of what the driver did … There were lots of drugs in the vehicle. Everybody in the vehicle is well-known to the police officers. They have active criminal background. There are a number of charges pending, based on the evaluation of the drugs and quantity.”