A man has been arrested after allegedly fleeing from police and attempting to drive over two Lacombe officers.
Weston Pickford of Red Deer has been charged with a number of offences, including two counts of attempted murder after altercations with Red Deer City Traffic, Red Deer RCMP and the Lacombe Police Service.
On Sept. 4th, a Red Deer City traffic enforcement officer conducted a traffic stop and was allegedly assaulted by Pickford, the driver of the vehicle, who then fled the scene. The identity of the driver was obtained prior to the suspect fleeing in his vehicle, police said.
Police were not able to immediately locate the suspect and a warrant for his arrest was obtained.
At approximately 11:30 p.m., the Lacombe Police Service was made aware of the outstanding warrant.
They also received information that the suspect was possibly at a residence in Lacombe and was armed with a gun.
Three Lacombe Police Service members responded to the area in southeast Lacombe in an effort to locate the man.
Officers approached the residence on foot and observed Pickford getting into a vehicle. Despite being ordered to stop, Pickford attempted to strike two of the officers with the vehicle as he fled the area, say police.
Police Chief Steve Murray said that the officers were standing directly in front of the vehicle’s headlights when giving Pickford the order to stop.
Pickford then drove west on 50th Ave. in Lacombe to Hwy. 2. He was traveling at a high rate of speed and was pursued south towards the City of Red Deer, police said.
The pursuit was turned over to Red Deer City RCMP.
The vehicle then entered the City limits and the police utilized a tire deflation device to demobilize the vehicle.
The driver attempted to continue fleeing but eventually the vehicle came to a stop against a tree and ignited. Pickford was arrested without incident and Red Deer Emergency Services was dispatched to tend to the vehicle fire.
Pickford was then confirmed to be the same individual who had assaulted the Red Deer Peace Officer earlier that day, police said.
Murray said this is incident is an example of how Lacombe, while a very safe community, is not completely invulnerable to acts of violence and its police service is often put in dangerous situations working for the good of the community.
“In this case I’m just really glad that in the outcome, nobody in the public was injured, none of the officers were injured and the offender himself wasn’t injured,” said Murray.
Pickford is charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assaulting a police officer, two counts of fleeing from a peace officer, two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, breach of probation and possession of break-in instruments.
He will make his first appearance in court Sept. 18 in Red Deer.