Joshua Tyler Schaeffer, 38, a suspect in the Jan. 6 incident at Country Club Centre in Nanaimo, where a truck crashed into buildings and vehicles, will see his next court date on Jan. 15. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Lawyer for Nanaimo mall smash-up driver concerned for client’s mental well-being

Joshua Tyler Schaeffer, 38, also charged in June 2018 dangerous driving incident

The man charged in a Monday night smash-up incident at a Nanaimo mall made an appearance in provincial court in Nanaimo today.

Joshua Tyler Schaeffer, 38, was charged with counts of dangerous driving and mischief, Nanaimo RCMP said in a press release Wednesday. Schaeffer was taken into custody Tuesday, after the Jan. 6 incident, which saw a truck driven into the CIBC at the shopping centre, as well as an Urban Barn and a pair of vehicles.

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Schaeffer had already been scheduled to appear in court for June 2018 incidents involving failure to stop at an accident and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, but Bert King, Schaeffer’s lawyer, questioned whether his client was fit.

Schaeffer wasn’t able to give him instructions, King said, and sought five days in order to have his client assessed.

“It was clear to me from meeting my client today that he’s got some very serious mental issues,” said King. “So I want a psychiatrist to look at him to see if he’s fit to stand trial … his responses to some of my questions and his attitude (were concerning). He’s got something mentally wrong with him and I need some help.”

King also said he didn’t know if his client had suffered a concussion in Monday night’s incident.

Schaeffer sees his next day in court on Jan. 15.

Brett Webber, Crown counsel, declined to comment, but did state in court that he opposed Schaeffer’s release.


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