Man speeding on stolen motorcycle assaults officer, flees into woods
Police continue to search for a suspect after a bizarre incident at the top of the Malahat Friday night.
A man seen driving a stolen motorcycle at high speed assaulted an officer before running away down a steep wooded embankment, and he hasn’t been seen since.
The incident began a little after 8pm Friday. Cst. Andy Dunstan, with the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit, said officers clocked the motorcycle at 152 km/h travelling northbound.
“We had some units that were further north who waited for that motorcycle to show up but it didn’t so we then started coming south looking [it],” he said.
An officer found the bike and rider in the parking lot of the Malahat Chalet. When approached, things quickly went sideways.
“It was clear there was something not quite right, the officer put the rider under arrest, there was an altercation, the officer called for cover, other units turned up as quickly as we could by that time the motorcyclist had fled into the bushes at the back of the Moonwater Lodge,” said Dunstan.
“It turns out the motorcycle here is stolen, the license plate on the motorcycle is stolen, and as it would happen, as the motorcyclist ran away he shouted he didn’t have a license.”
“Hard to believe that was one of his priorities, having just fought with an officer and now run off he was shouting he didn’t have a license.”
Officers scoured the bush, and a Saanich Police dog team was called in. But as darkness fell there was no sign of the suspect, leaving police baffled without even the driver’s ID as a starting point.
Dunstan said the only information police could confirm was that bike had been reported stolen out of Nanaimo, the plate had been stolen separately, and the rider was wearing a red helmet.
Saturday morning, staff at the Malahat Chalet were still in disbelief at what unfolded outside their windows
Owner Lori Strandlund says the area the man ran into is steep and treacherous and would have been dangerous to hike in the dark. She says the only path, which leads down to a beach, is nearly choked off by brush.
“You have to really have a machete or something to break through,” she said.
If the suspect did make it down to the shore, Strandlund says he only would have found himself stranded with no way out but back up the path.
“I think he would have been stuck. I have honestly no idea where he could have gone.”
With no update from police Saturday, the suspect appears to remain at large and the investigation continues.