Man rams police cruiser, attempts escape by kayak

Thirty-five-year old Justin Daniels facing several charges following police pursuit.

A man who rammed a police cruiser with a vehicle and then attempted to flee pursuing officers by kayak remains in police custody facing several charges.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said the chain of events that led to the arrest of 35-year-old Justin Daniels began about 2:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 28, when a Sicamous RCMP officer conducting a traffic stop attempted to pull over a pickup truck on Old Spallumcheen Road. Moskaluk said the officer, driving a marked police SUV, had just pulled over the pickup when its driver put the vehicle in reverse and rammed the officer’s vehicle twice.

“The male driver and sole occupant then drove away from the disabled police cruiser,” said Moskaluk in a news release.

Officers from Salmon Arm and a police service dog team were brought in to assist in the pursuit, and the suspect’s vehicle was later found abandoned along Mara Lake. Moskaluk said a set of footprints was found leading from the vehicle towards the lake. There, officers found signs the suspect had paddled away by hand in a kayak. This was confirmed on the other side of the lake, where the police dog picked up a set of fresh tracks in the snow. Officers followed the clearly visible tracks to a residence, where they located Daniels who had broken into a resident’s garage.

Despite suffering from hypothermia, Daniels was was otherwise uninjured during the pursuit.

Moskaluk said Daniels is facing charges of assaulting a police officer with a weapon, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, flight from police, possession of break-in tools, break and enter, theft of mail, driving while prohibited, theft under $5,000 (for stealing the kayak) and breach of probation.

Daniels remains in police custody and his next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 19 in Salmon Arm.