RCMP officer injured

Lengthy pursuit results in arrest of suspect: charges against NB man

A North Battleford man is facing several serious charges after a Blaine Lake RCMP officer was injured along Highway 40 about 16 kilometres west of Richard at 8:40 a.m. Monday.

William Rhode, 37, of North Battleford, has been charged in connection with an incident that began near Richard and continued on grid roads in the Speers area and eventually culminated in Rhodes’ arrest in Cochin.

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According to police, the officer had the vehicle stopped along the road. At one point the adult male driver fled in the vehicle. The RCMP member was next to the vehicle attempting to prevent the driver from fleeing. As the vehicle sped away, the member fell and was run over, according to police.

The member suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Battlefords Union Hospital. He has since been released.

The RCMP launched a search for a white 2018 Ford F350, which they say fled the scene westbound on Highway 40 towards North Battleford.

At approximately 10:25 a.m., Battlefords RCMP say they located the suspect vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed on a grid road north of Speers. Police say, RCMP patrol vehicles set up at strategic locations in preparation to use tire deflation devices and disable the vehicle if required. The monitored pursuit of the suspect vehicle was limited to grid roads in the area northwest of Speers and then west of Whitkow.

RCMP members say they continued the pursuit on the grid roads where there was little to no traffic and the risk to public safety was deemed low.

Police say the man was driving erratically and avoided tire deflation devices twice. Several police vehicles were struck and damaged while the suspect was evading arrest, according to a press release.

A third attempt to immobilize the vehicle resulted in the deflation of one tire, however the suspect continued to drive on three tires. The suspect managed to get onto Highway 4 and headed north toward the village of Cochin. At this point, due to the increased risk to the public, the pursuit was discontinued.

A number of other police vehicles were able to locate the suspect vehicle as it entered Cochin. The suspect drove into a local gas station, fled from the damaged truck and then attempted to steal another vehicle. However, RCMP members arrived on scene and quickly arrested the suspect.

The vehicle the suspect was operating has been linked to a theft from Lloydminster, Alta. Sunday afternoon. The investigation into this incident is ongoing.

Rhodes appeared in Provincial Court in North Battleford Tuesday and remains in custody until his next appearance.

He is charged with assaulting a police officer causing bodily harm, dangerous operation of motor vehicle causing bodily harm, failure to remain at the scene of an accident, flight causing bodily harm, refusal to comply with demand, resisting arrest, possession of stolen property over $5,000, robbery and breach of recognizance.


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