By Andru McCracken
By the time a Blue River resident showed up to court at noon on Thursday, October 15, a warrant had already been issued for his arrest. He told a sheriff he was late because he had to hitchhike from Blue River. He is currently banned from driving.
Despite having finished with criminal proceedings for the morning, the court reopened the file and dealt with the matter after he had a chance to consult the defense lawyer on duty.
The man is facing a number of charges from three separate incidents and according to his lawyer, they stem from his addiction to crystal meth.
And it’s the kind of dangerous drug behaviour that often makes the news, violent and desperate: the antithesis of community.
On April 14, the Crown alleges he took flight after a police officer tried to stop a black Chevy truck to check its insurance at a Valemount gas station. Counsel said that the truck drove away slowly at first, but then picked up speed resulting in a car chase that saw the truck reach speeds between 90 and 100 km/h on 7th Avenue (police ended the chase in the interest of public safety and used video surveillance at a local gas station to ID the operator of the truck).
The man also faces charges including uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm and threatening to burn, destroy or damage property in multiple locations on August 2nd and September 28. He is also charged in connection with a vehicle theft.
Crown Counsel argued that the man was a clear danger to the public and unable to comply with bail conditions.
After his last encounter with police on Sept. 28th, local police released him with orders not to return to Valemount, which he violated, however during the bail hearing in court on October 15 the judge ruled this condition improper because he has family in Valemount. The man is now on a curfew. The judge said during his curfew, the man is not to be off his property in Blue River between 7 pm and 7 am.
Defense lawyer Jay Michi said that the man is addicted to crystal meth.
“He did confide in me that he has a personal struggle with methamphetamines going on six years now,” said Michi.