Nanaimo truckers help police catch suspect after chase

Police say man crashed vehicle and then tried to flee on foot

Truck drivers in Nanaimo helped Mounties bag a dangerous driver this week.

Kale Nystrom, 39, of no fixed address, was arrested on numerous criminal charges after he allegedly made a run for it and caused police pursuit after crashing his vehicle on Milton Street on Monday.

According to police, the incident started when police spotted an older model Jeep driving in an alley between Nicol and Haliburton streets. When police tried to stop the vehicle, the driver sped off recklessly.

Because of traffic conditions at the time of day, about 4 p.m., police opted not to risk a chase, but kept up patrols in the area and eventually heard a crash in the vicinity of the Van Kam Freightways lot on the 1100 block of Milton Street.

When officers arrived, they saw the suspect vehicle and driver being blocked from leaving the parking lot by a semi tractor and trailer positioned across the main entrance to the lot. The attending officer watched as the driver of the Jeep drove his vehicle into the semi on three times in a futile attempt to leave.

The suspect driver then drove around to the rear of the lot, into the fence surrounding the compound and then into a concrete barricade that rendered his vehicle inoperable.

Officers approached the Jeep on foot and told the driver that he was under arrest, but the driver made a run for it. Several nearby several nearby truckers took up the chase and pursued the suspect through their compound. Officers and the truckers managed to corral and arrest the suspect without further incident.

Two female passengers in the Jeep were detained, but were sent on their way without charges.

Nystrom sustained facial injuries from the vehicle crash and was transported to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital where he was assessed and treated before he was taken to the Nanaimo RCMP detachment.

Nystrom appeared in provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday and was formally charged with flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, mischief under $5,000, driving while prohibited, failure to stop at the scene of an accident, possession of a controlled substance (suspected heroin) and prohibited driving. He remains in custody to await his next court appearance Tuesday, April 3, by video conference.

“While we commend the truckers with assisting the officers in the arrest of this person we would be remiss in not reminding the public of the inherent risk posed when intervening in these types of situations,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release. “Sometimes it’s best to let officers make the arrest, and for civilians to report and monitor from a safe distance.”

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