British Columbia

B.C. man arrested, accused of assault, robbery and ramming Kelowna police car

A group of construction workers came to the aid of a police officer who was under attack by a suspect trying to flee a crime scene in Kelowna on Friday.

Mayhem ties up Kelowna's downtown core Friday, while construction workers aid police

The aftermath of a crime spree in downtown Kelowna where a 42-year-old Chase B.C. man was arrested after construction workers aided police. (Kelowna RCMP)

A dramatic series of events that police say involved assault, robbery and the ramming of one of their own cruisers in Kelowna, tied up the city's downtown core and led to the arrest of a suspect.

RCMP Const. Jesse O'Donaghey said officers received reports early Friday morning of an assault in a local alleyway, as well as a nearby robbery.

He said officers determined a suspect, who was behaving irrationally, assaulted a man who refused to turn over his car keys.

Child's backpack

The suspect then fled on foot and stole a child's backpack being carried by a father, he said.

"The suspect allegedly assaulted the father, a 45-year-old man, in front of his eight-year-old daughter, before fleeing the second scene in a grey Ford sedan," said O'Donaghey.

An officer's car was hit by a fleeing vehicle while he was responding to the crimes.

O'Donaghey said witnesses reported the suspect vehicle appeared to accelerate before the impact.

The suspect got out of the vehicle after the crash and attempted to assault the officer through the open driver's side window of the police vehicle, he said.

Ron Polak was one of several construction workers who came to the aid of a police during a crime spree in downtown Kelowna on Friday, April 1, 2016. (Brady Strachan/CBC)

That's when nearby construction workers, including Ron Polak and David Sharpe, jumped into action to assist the officer who was still stunned from the impact of the collision, according to police.

"One of our guys, he grabbed the guy by the neck and pulled him out of the cop car," said Polak.

"Someone came over and helped me take the suspect to the ground," said David Sharpe. "And then my first aid training kicked in and I was trying to actually do first aid on the suspect, making sure that there were no injuries from the accident."

O'Donaghey said the suspect and officer sustained injuries and were taken to hospital as a precaution, and the officer was released.

42-year-old suspect from Chase

He added that a 42-year-old man from Chase, B.C., is in police custody and under investigation and could face charges of assault, robbery, aggravated assault, assault of a police officer and resisting arrest.

with files from Brady Strachan and the Canadian Press


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