The Port McNeill RCMP caught their suspect after what can only be described as a wild turn of events.
On Monday, Nov. 25 just before 1 p.m., “the Port McNeill RCMP received a call of a collision on Highway 19 near the 350km marker near Port McNeill BC,” said Cpl. Chris Manseau via press release. “The initial report was that a vehicle with two occupants had rear ended a pickup truck.”
According to Manseau, while the police were conducting their investigation they observed the man from the vehicle “throw an item into the ditch. During the time the vehicle occupants were being transported to the Port McNeill Hospital, officers recovered a firearm in the area of the ditch where they believed the item had been thrown. While the man was being arrested on the firearms charge, he fled on foot into a forested area across from a local school.”
Although there was no direct threat to the school or the students, Port McNeill RCMP Cpl. Nathan Lingley said it was “immediately determined to have the school institute their lockdown procedure until the suspect was located and arrested.”
Some local businesses were also made aware, and they too took some necessary precautions.
The Campbell River RCMP police dog service was then brought in to assist and the suspect was later arrested and identified after a struggle with police and the dog near Cardena Crescent in Port McNeill.
“Justin Chester was transported to the hospital for his injuries and then to the Port McNeill RCMP detachment,” said Manseau. “The Police services dog handler had to be treated for an injury received during the struggle to arrest the suspect.”
The woman passenger was later released on documentation for a court date in February 2020.
According to the Port McNeill RCMP, they later searched Chester’s vehicle and found evidence consistent with drug trafficking including; several illicit drugs, cash, multiple cellular phones, and several types of ammunition.
Chester, 31, of Courtenay BC, has been charged with several firearms offences and has been remanded in custody until Dec. 10, 2019.