News

Man drives truck into crowd outside Nanaimo bar

Mounties arrested a Nanaimo man who allegedly assaulted three people and drove his pickup truck into a crowd Monday.

The incident happened at the Patricia Hotel on Haliburton Street at about 8:30 p.m. when a man driving by spotted his ex-girlfriend standing with a group of people in front of the pub, police said.

"There was obviously some bad blood between the two of them," said Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. "Witnesses said the accused approached his ex and an argument ensued."

When bystanders separated the man and woman, the suspect punched one of them in the face. He then got back into his older model Chevy pickup truck, collided with another vehicle and then drove his truck into the group of people, hitting two of the witnesses, police said.

"He fled the scene at a high rate of speed, circling the building several times, squealing the tires and almost losing control," O'Brien said. "As we approached, he flags us down and says he's been the victim of an assault."

The suspect, 44, was treated at the scene by paramedics for cuts on his face and arrested.

He was released on a promise to appear in Nanaimo provincial court Jan. 25 to face recommended charges of two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, hit and run and dangerous driving.

"We're waiting until all the statements are on file to further review it and assess what other charges are appropriate," O'Brien said.

One of the two men hit by the truck was treated in hospital for an injury to his foot and released that night. The other man received minor injuries that did not require treatment.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.

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