A 36-year-old man is in custody after allegedly stealing and crashing a cab at B.C. Ferries Departure Bay terminal Saturday.
The incident happened shortly before noon when a man disembarked from a ferry that had just arrived from Vancouver and allegedly jumped into a Yellow Cab in the passenger pickup area and tried to drive off.
“The driver is outside the vehicle at the time,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “The vehicle is running, keys in the ignition. He sees a guy get into his taxi. The taxi driver ran over and tried to stop him.”
The suspect managed to drive off, but then smashed into two shuttle buses, then went through a fence and collided with some rocks and concrete curbing before it came to a stop.
“A number of pedestrians went over and stopped the male and him until police arrived,” O’Brien said.
The suspect struck one B.C. Ferries employee in the head before pedestrians surrounded him and pinned him down until police arrived.
“As to why he tried to steal the taxi, we’re not sure,” O’Brien said.
The suspect had boarded the ferry in Vancouver on a bus and allegedly said he had left a firearm aboard the bus. Police searched two buses, but did not locate a firearm.
“No one else was injured except for the guy who was assaulted,” O’Brien said. “He was punched once in the face. He didn’t require hospitalization or medical treatment.”
Leslie Brownjohn, 36, of no fixed address, has been charged with dangerous driving, theft of a motor vehicle, and assault.
Brownjohn is being held in custody until he appears in Nanaimo Provincial court Aug. 4.