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Trial date set for man accused of fleeing from Sundre RCMP police in stolen vehicle

Sundre RCMP abandoned pursuit for public’s safety but suspect from Rimbey found shortly after crashing
RCMP-stolen vehicle
A trial date of Jan. 19, 2023 has been set for a 42-year-old male from Rimbey who faces 18 charges after Mounties tracked him down on Jan. 10, 2022 when he crashed a stolen vehicle from Calgary. Photo courtesy of RCMP

SUNDRE — A trial date has been set for a Rimbey man who earlier this year was arrested and charged with many criminal code offences after police attempted to initiate a traffic stop when officers realized the vehicle was stolen.

The accused is alleged to have accelerated to a high rate of speed in an attempt to evade Mounties, who out of concern for the public’s safety decided to abandon the pursuit.

But officers caught up with the suspect, who before long lost control of the vehicle and crashed, managing to emerge from the rollover in a last ditch, ill-fated effort to flee on foot.

On the afternoon of Jan. 10, the Sundre RCMP located the vehicle — believed to have been stolen from Calgary — travelling southbound on Highway 22 heading toward Sundre, police reported in a Jan. 12 press statement.

When officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Rge. Rd. 34 just north of Twp. Rd. 340, police said the driver of the stolen 2003 black Hummer proceeded to accelerate and flee in an effort to evade police at a high rate of speed.

“Upon determining the driver was not going to comply, the traffic stop was terminated,” said police.

The suspect continued in a northbound direction along Rge. Rd. 34 and was eventually located by RCMP about six kilometres north after losing control and rolling into a ditch. Despite the crash, the suspect managed to escape the wreckage and was observed fleeing on foot through a field by Mounties who arrived on the scene.

Additional RCMP units from Olds, Sundre, and Innisfail as well as the RCMP Police Dog Services were called in to assist. Officers were able to catch up with and arrest the suspect without incident prior to the arrival of the police dog, said police.

With the assistance of the canine unit, members conducted a search of the immediate area in the vicinity of the crash site and were able to determine the suspect was the lone occupant in the vehicle, police reported.

Emergency Medical Services were also dispatched as the suspect sustained non-life threatening injures as a result of the rollover. The suspect was transported by EMS to hospital for further assessment and treatment. He was later released and returned to police custody.

Alan Ray McAbee, 42, has been charged with: flight from a peace officer; two counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose; two counts of knowingly possessing a prohibited or restricted weapon; two counts of possessing a firearm in a vehicle; two counts of careless use and/or storage of a firearm; possessing break-in instruments; possession of stolen property more than $5,000; operating a motor vehicle while prohibited; possession for the purpose of trafficking; possession of more than 30 grams of cannabis; and four counts of failing to comply with a release order.

McAbee was most recently scheduled to appear in Didsbury provincial court on April 14 when, according to a response from an email inquiry submitted to Alberta Court Checks, a trial date was set for Jan. 19, 2023 at the same court.

“That’s how inundated our judicial system is right now,” said Sgt. Trent Sperlie, the Sundre RCMP detachment’s commander.  

“The Supreme Court actually set timelines for criminal cases and timelines for provincial cases,” Sperlie said on Wednesday, April 27 during an interview, referring to what are known as Jordan applications that stem from a 2016 Supreme Court of Canada decision.  

According to the Alberta Government’s website, 351 Jordan applications have been filed in provincial courts between Oct. 25, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2021. While 17 are pending, 103 were dismissed by the court, 38 were granted with two being appealed by the Crown, 59 were abandoned by the defence, 56 were proactively stayed by the Crown on the basis they would not survive the Jordan applicant, and 78 were resolved unrelated to Jordan. From the time a case enters Alberta’s court system, any trial proceedings have a timeline of 18 months.

“If the Crown fails to meet that standard, then the defence can make a Jordan application,” said Sperlie. “It’s just to say that the Crown didn’t meet their obligation to get (the case) before court by a certain time, and there’s been a lot of cases — including homicides — that have been stayed as a result.”

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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