What started out as a traffic stop near Sicamous Monday morning ended with Sicamous RCMP and an RCMP dog handler tracking a suspect in the Mara Lake area.
At around 2:30 a.m., a Sicamous RCMP officer had his marked police cruiser rammed by a vehicle that he had stopped on Old Spallumcheen Road.
“The officer had just pulled the pickup truck over when the suspect driver put his truck in reverse and rammed the marked police SUV twice,” said RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.
“The male driver and sole occupant then drove away from the disabled police cruiser.”
Officers from Salmon Arm and a Kamloops police service dog team were called out to assist.
Officers located the abandoned vehicle along Mara Lake and noted a set of footprints leading down to the lake, along with other signs which indicated that the driver had paddled away from the shore by hand in a kayak.
RCMP officers did not have a visual on the man, but they had to simply drive to the other side of the lake where the RCMP police dog picked up a set of tracks that were also quite visible to the human handler and officers in the fresh snow.
The fresh tracks led the officers to a residence where they located and arrested a 35-year-old man who had broken into the resident’s garage.
“The man was suffering from hypothermia but uninjured otherwise as a result of his attempt to flee,” said Moskaluk.
Justin Daniels was charged with assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, flight from police, possession of break-in tools, break-and-enter, theft under $5,000, 19 counts of theft of mail, driving while prohibited and two counts of breach of probation.
Daniels remains in custody with his next court appearance in Salmon Arm Provincial Court on Jan. 19.