Smithers courthouse. (File photo)

Smithers courthouse. (File photo)

Assault, arson case adjourned again

Man faces multiple charges from July 6 incident

  • Aug. 28, 2019 12:00 a.m.

A Houston man facing 10 charges following an incident in which a woman was allegedly assaulted and a cabin set on fire is due back at the Smithers courthouse Sept. 23.

The adjournment to that date in the matter of Mario Reutelsterz was granted in court Aug. 20 following a request and the Sept. 23 appearance is to fix a date for trial.

The charges against Mario Reutelsterz include arson to own property, assault with a weapon, willfully resisting arrest, three counts of uttering threats, mischief under $5,000, disarming or attempting to disarm a peace officer, break and enter a dwelling house, and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

He had been in custody since the July 6 incident in Houston but was released last week on a $5,000 surety bail, said B.C. Prosecution Service official Dan McLaughlin.

The incident, which took place on July 6 on Mount Davis Way in Houston, began when a woman contacted police saying a man had broken into her house and, armed with an edged weapon, attempted to physically restrain her, RCMP reported at the time.

Upon police attendance, the suspect ran from the house into a cabin on the property. When police arrived, they could hear the man yelling, then heard an explosion, and soon after saw smoke coming from the structure, according to police.

“The suspect exited the cabin and after a brief struggle with police, managed to break free and run back toward the burning building,” RCMP stated, adding the man was then physically restrained to prevent him from running into the burning building.

“As a result, the police and suspect were trapped between the structure fire and the surrounding brush fire,” RCMP said, adding police were forced to flee with the suspect through thick brush as the fire blocked the way out.

Police said a resident of Houston, who had heard the commotion, was able to help guide police and suspect safely out of the woods.

The man was tended to at the scene and then taken to hospital.

– With files from Flavio Nienow.

Houston Today