Police arrest man in connection with Nanaimo truck rampage

Police arrest man in connection with Nanaimo truck rampage
WatchThirty-seven-year-old accused was already facing a dangerous driving charge.

Nanaimo RCMP has arrested 37-year-old Josh Schaeffer, who they say is responsible for a truck rampage in Nanaimo this week.

On Monday, several vehicles and buildings were left with significant damage after a driver of a truck crashed through the buildings in Nanaimo’s Country Club Centre.

Witnesses told police the suspect vehicle was being driven at a high rate of speed through the parking lot and it appeared the driver, for unknown reasons, was driving directly at the various buildings. The CIBC bank, Shoppers Drug Mart and Urban Barn were all damaged to some degree.

Some of the damage left over after a vehicle crashed into buildings at the Country Club Mall.

Some of the damage leftover after a vehicle crashed into buildings at the Country Club Mall.

The suspect driver was taken to hospital that night. On Tuesday, Nanaimo RCMP say they arrested the man without incident at his home, for Dangerous Driving and Mischief.

Schaeffer is now facing two counts: dangerous operation of a conveyance and mischief endangering life.

He appeared in Nanaimo Provincial Court Wednesday.

Schaeffer was already scheduled for a court appearance today on separate charges from June, including failure to stop at an accident with vehicle/vessel and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Tuesday his lawyer asked in court to have that trial delayed because he’s concerned about Schaeffer’s health.

“He wasn’t able to give me instructions,” said Bert King, his lawyer.

“He’s got something mentally wrong with him and I want a psychiatrist to look at him to see if he’s fit.”

King says Monday’s dramatic video supports his request.

“The video is very damaging but it’s quite clear when one looks at that video that this young man had something wrong with him mentally.”

The judge did end up agreeing to delay the trial for a psychiatric assessment.

Schaeffer’s next court appearance is January 15th.

Police say drugs haven’t been ruled out of their truck rampage investigation.

“Investigators are exploring the possibility that the driver may have been impaired by drugs. These investigations are often lengthy and time-consuming, and it may be several months, if not longer, before investigators are in a position to forward charges for approval”, Const. Gary O’Brien, media relations officer with the Nanaimo RCMP, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Police say the investigation into the incident which damaged several buildings and two vehicles will continue.


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