Calgary

Dramatic video played in court as man sentenced for driving over Alberta RCMP officer while high on cocaine

In a courtroom full of Alberta RCMP members, dramatic police cruiser video was played during a sentencing hearing for a man who drove over an officer while drunk and high on cocaine.

Skyler Stevens-Rose, 25, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault of a peace officer and other charges

RCMP in-car video of officer struck 1:03

In a courtroom full of Alberta RCMP members, dramatic police cruiser video was played during a sentencing hearing for a man who drove over an officer while drunk and high on cocaine.

"We have an officer down," a fellow officer can be heard conveying over his radio as other police pursued Skyler Stevens-Rose.

On Wednesday, Judge Peter Barley accepted a joint sentencing submission for a three-year prison term from defence lawyer Alain Hepner and prosecutor Ron Simenik.

"To serve and protect is not just a bumper sticker," said Simenik. "These police officers put their lives on the line every night and we sometimes take that for granted."

Stevens-Rose pleaded guilty last month to charges of aggravated assault of a peace officer and four other charges related to fleeing police and resisting arrest stemming from the December 2018 incident.

To serve and protect is not just a bumper sticker. These police officers put their lives on the line every night.- Prosecutor Ron Simenik

In the early morning hours of Dec. 1, 2018, Airdrie RCMP officer Sgt. Stephen Browne, along with his partner, tried to pull the offender over after spotting Stevens-Rose driving erratically.

Stevens-Rose took off but eventually got stuck on a curb in a residential area of Airdrie. As Browne got out of his cruiser, Stevens-Rose accelerated backwards and drove over the officer, dragging him a short distance before the victim was thrown onto the road. 

Stevens-Rose then took off again, driving up to 170 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. 

In the back of Stevens-Rose's car were two youths, terrified they would be killed.

"I put my head down waiting to die, we were going so fast," wrote one of the teens in a victim impact statement. 

The boy, who was in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing, said he has nightmares about the officer who was injured. 

"I knew he was hurt, I hope he's OK ... maybe I can meet him some day so I can see he's OK."

Skylar Stevens-Rose, 25, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault of a peace officer, and four other charges related to fleeing police and resisting arrest. This is one of the police vehicles he rammed. (RCMP)

'Not who I am'

Outside the courtroom after Stevens-Rose was sentenced, Browne approached the boy for a brief chat before the teen walked out of the courthouse smiling.

Browne suffered a broken leg, which required surgery, and is expected to be off work for at least another six months as he recovers. He also suffered injuries to his ribs, abdomen, neck and elbow. Another officer broke his hand during the incident and also suffered a torn ankle ligament.

When given the chance to speak, Stevens-Rose addressed Browne. 

"Sgt. Browne … I am deeply ashamed my actions and the pain I caused you and your family," said Stevens-Rose. 

"What I did to you is not who I am, there is no excuse for my actions."

As Judge Peter Barley handed down the sentence, he told Stevens-Rose he was lucky to be alive.

"People get shot dead by police because [officers] are afraid the person is going to do what you did," said Barley.

"He would have been justified under the circumstances."

As sheriffs were about to escort Stevens-Rose away, Barley said: "I hope that you do get the help that you need, get yourself better."

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.