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RCMP: Border-hopper apprehended after two hour “float chase” on Kettle River

RCMP: Border-hopper apprehended after two hour “float chase” on Kettle River

Sgt. Darryl Peppler

Grand Forks – Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment, RCMP

BC RCMP officers in Grand Forks arrested a Washington State man, who led police on a two and a half hour float chase, down the Kettle River Friday.

On Friday July 24, 2020, at approximately 1 a.m., Stevens County Sherriff’s contacted Grand Forks RCMP to advise a stolen vehicle had entered Canada illegally at the closed Port Cascade border crossing after they had attempted to stop it in Kettle Falls, Washington. A spike belt was deployed successfully by U.S. officials, however the suspect continued to drive and allegedly rammed through the barriers at the border before dumping the vehicle and fleeing on foot into Canada.

Grand Forks RCMP front line officers patrolled the area and eventually located the stolen vehicle abandoned in the 7200-block of Highway 3 just outside the downtown core, however, the man was not found.

Later the same day, the suspect was spotted back where the stolen vehicle was recovered and RCMP officers attempted to arrest him, however he resisted and ended up jumping into the waters of the Kettle River where he floated for 2.5 hours, attempting to evade his capture.

Grand Forks RCMP, assisted by Midway RCMP was able to track the man by walking along both sides of the river bank. At a point where the river narrowed, a RCMP officer, along with some good Samaritans were able to wade into the river and escort him back to shore. The man taken into police custody without further incident.

The man was turned over to the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) on July 25th. The Grand Forks RCMP continue to work with CBSA officials on possible charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Criminal Code of Canada. The RCMP will continue to work with its American law enforcement counterparts on their criminal investigation.

This was an exceptional response from many involved including the Grand Forks and Midway officers who tracked the male for 2.5 hours, the Grand Forks Fire Department, BC Emergency Health Services and local search and rescue personnel, says Sergeant Darryl Peppler. We would like to thank the good Samaritans who assisted us in helping to safely escort this male to shore where he could be taken into custody.

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