Shovel used to ward off burglar

A Nanaimo homeowner used a garden shovel to dig his way out of gritty encounter with an intruder.

The incident unfolded at a home in the 1000 block of Selkirk Drive in the College Heights district shortly before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday when a man came face to face with an intruder in his garage. Fearing for his safety, he grabbed a shovel and struck the intruder in the torso with it when a brief struggle broke out.

Police said the suspect thought momentarily about continuing the confrontation before running off.

The homeowner gave a description to Mounties who also got into an altercation with the suspect when they tried to arrest him.

Steven James Petequan, 36, was taken to Nanaimo RCMP detachment, held in custody overnight and formally charged in Nanaimo provincial court Thursday morning with breaking and entering, assault and two counts of breach of probation. He remains in custody awaiting his next court appearance.

Neither Petequan or the homeowner were injured during their encounter in the garage.

No charges are pending against the homeowner for striking the suspect with a shovel.

"None at all," said Const. Gary O'Brien. "He feared for his safety. It's called a weapon of opportunity. He did what he felt was necessary to protect himself and his family."

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