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Fleeing Carstairs van theft suspect rams police cruisers, injures officers

Sylvan Lake man faces 18 charges
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CARSTAIRS – A 35-year-old man is facing more than a dozen charges after two RCMP officers received minor injuries and several RCMP cruisers were rammed during a highway pursuit on the morning of Wednesday, July 29.  

Shortly after 7 a.m., Didsbury RCMP officers responded to a report of a suspicious person in a vehicle outside a Carstairs residence, RCMP Cpl. Tammy Keibel said in a release Friday.

When officers arrived, the adult male suspect fled on foot and then broke into a nearby residential garage where he started a van in the building.

“Police were in the driver’s seat attempting to remove the suspect while the van exited the garage at a high rate of speed, striking the garage,” said Keibel.

“The suspect broke free of police, driving the van eastbound on Highway 581 and continuing southbound on Highway 2.”

Additional police units from Innisfail, Olds and Airdrie then joined the pursuit.

“The suspect was crossing the centre median and travelling southbound in the northbound lane, which forced multiple vehicles to leave the roadway (to) avoid head-on collision,” she said.

A police roadblock was set up near the Highway 72 overpass.

“The suspect continued southbound in the northbound lane and upon entering the roadblock made an evasive move, colliding with several police vehicles before entering the ditch,” she said.

The man was then arrested at the scene and later taken to hospital for assessment as a precaution, she said.

Three RCMP officers were also assessed by EMS as the scene, with two of the officers having suffered minor injuries. Neither officer required transportation to hospital.

Kyle Robert Meckler, 35, of Sylvan Lake faces 18 charges, including break and enter into a dwelling, attempted theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property over $5,000, two counts of dangerous operation of a conveyance, operation while prohibited, flight from peace officer, fail to stop after an accident, resist arrest, escape lawful custody, and eight counts of fail to comply with conditions.

He also faces Traffic Safety Act charges of operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

He was remanded in custody following a judicial hearing and was scheduled to appear in Calgary provincial court on Friday.

Police are asking anyone with dash camera footage of the incident to contact Didsbury at 403-335-3381 or any other RCMP detachment or Crime Stoppers.