UPDATE: 21 year old Braedon Zobatar is facing several charges from this incident. They include theft of a motor vehicle, assault with a weapon, breaking and entering with intent, aggravated assault, and resisting arrest, among others.
RCMP have confirmed that one of the witnesses was stabbed in the altercation with the suspect. They were taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
“This incident could have been tragic” says Corporal Shawn Graham of Community Policing in Grande Prairie. “We do not recommend anyone from the public pursue a stolen vehicle. Public safety is paramount in these types of situations.”
Zobatar remains in police custody until his court appearance on March 6th. He was also charged when he was found in a stolen vehicle with another man on Highway 43 in August 2015.
The search for a vehicle theft suspect took RCMP to the runways of the Grande Prairie Airport early Wednesday morning. Corporal Shawn Graham says the man stole a truck but was then followed by witnesses.
When the truck got stuck, there was an altercation, and the suspect ran onto the airport runway. According to Transport Canada, the airport authority closed all runways around 6:50 a.m.to let police vehicles have access, and then officers chased him down on foot. With the help of Police Dog Services, he was arrested in a field off of the property.
The runways were re-opened at 7:30 a.m. Numerous charges are pending against the man, but they haven’t been sworn in court. We expect more information Thursday morning.