UPDATE – Property crime suspect rams police cars, jumps in Nanaimo River to avoid capture

NANAIMO – Suspect wanted in Ladysmith and Duncan for previous alleged offences.

Nanaimo police arrested a 31-year-old man Thursday afternoon, but only after the suspect fought with police, rammed several police cars and jumped into the Nanaimo River to evade arrest.

According to an RCMP press release, Nanaimo Mounties were tipped off by Island District General Investigation Section members monitoring the suspect, who was wanted for driving offences and property crimes, that he was driving a vehicle near University Village shopping centre in Harewood.

When police tried to block his car, the suspect rammed police vehicles and sped off.

An RCMP helicopter tracked the suspect’s car as it travelled at high speed southbound on the Nanaimo Parkway where police deployed a spike belt, deflating the vehicle’s tires. The suspect abandoned the car near the Duke Point overpass where he made attempts to get other drivers to pick him up.

When police moved in again, the suspect jumped into the Nanaimo River and injured his ankle.

He was finally apprehended when he swam to shore. He was held in custody to appear in Nanaimo provincial court Friday to face previous charges for offences allegedly committed in Ladysmith and Duncan and additional recommended charges from Thursday’s chase that include evading police, resisting arrest, dangerous driving and possession of stolen property.

Charges, including five counts of assaulting a police officer – with a motor vehicle – dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and evading police were sworn against Tyler Fong Friday.

Fong remains in custody until he appears before a provincial court judge who will decide whether Fong will be released.