By SGT. ROWLAND SCHMIDT
On Jan. 25, at 8:38 p.m. a concerned motorist reported a white SUV being driven erratically without lights within the Town of Stettler.
The caller believed the driver was impaired. At about 9:10 p.m., police encountered the vehicle, a white 2010 Dodge Journey, entering Highway 12 from 67 Street in Stettler. Police signaled the driver to stop but it did not and continued east through town and then travelled towards Botha.
The vehicle was driven east on Highway 12 at speeds of less than 120 km/h to Castor where it drove over a spike strip placed by Coronation RCMP. With deflated tires, the vehicle continued east for twenty more minutes at steadily reducing speeds until it came to a stop due to mechanical failure. The male driver and lone occupant, a 15-year-old youth from Three Hills, exited the vehicle and was arrested by police.
When the overheated vehicle stopped, flames and smoke were evident in and around the engine area. The vehicle soon became totally engulfed in flames and Coronation Fire Department assisted to extinguish the fire. The vehicle was determined to have been stolen in the town of Three Hills earlier in the day. The driver, who was not impaired, will be compelled to attend Provincial Youth Court in Stettler on March 8 to enter pleas to charges of possessing stolen property, flight from police, and possession of a prohibited weapon.
On Jan. 29 at 3:20 p.m., police attended the scene of a rollover 3 km south of Highway 12 on Stewartwyn Road south west of Stettler, where a south-bound hydrovac truck had rolled into the east ditch. The investigation culminated with the arrest of the driver who was later compelled to attend Provincial Court in Stettler in late February to enter a plea to a charge of impaired driving.
An erratic driver was reported to police on Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Police located the driver south of Stettler on Highway 56. A 45-year-old male from Hanna was arrested, processed and compelled for local court in late February to answer to a charge of impaired driving.
On Jan. 28, an investigation into threatening comments resulted in the arrest of a 20-year-old male from Stettler. He was compelled to attend Provincial Court in Stettler late February to enter pleas to charges of uttering threats, intimidating a witness and breaching probation.
Police were called to a bar fight on Jan. 29 at 12:50 a.m. outside an establishment in the 6100 block of 50 Avenue in Stettler. Two men were arrested at the scene and a victim was treated at Stettler Hospital for non life threatening injuries. Witnesses told police that a prohibited device was used against the victim, commonly called Brass Knuckles. As a result of the investigation, a 46-year-old male from Innisfail was compelled to attend Provincial Court in Stettler on March 24 to face a charge of assault causing bodily harm. A 30-year- old male from Stettler was also compelled to appear in court the same day to enter pleas to charges of possessing a weapon dangerous to the public and assault causing bodily harm. This Stettler resident was wearing clothing with large artwork and wording that indicated support for the Nomads Motorcycle Club.
About two hours later police were called back to the bar where another fight had erupted. In this case the combatants and witnesses were not cooperative and insufficient evidence existed to proceed with charges.
Distracted Driving is the traffic focus for February. Police across Canada will be working to keep motorists safe by ticketing drivers who are not giving their driving the attention it deserves. Police encourage road users to be alert and avoid anything that takes your eyes and mind off the driving task at hand. Make driving your number one priority when behind the wheel. Pull over to eat or use your cell phone.
Be a good neighbour. Record and report crime to police. Anyone with information that would assist police in solving these or any other crimes is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or send an email to www.tipsubmit.com. Crimestoppers is completely anonymous and pays cash for information that leads to an arrest or the recovery of stolen property.