On the afternoon of April 8, 2015, the Port Hardy RCMP responded to several calls from the public about a vehicle being driven in an erratic manner, and at high rates of speed. RCMP located the suspect vehicle, but the driver refused to stop, and sped off.
At the time, there were pedestrians, other motorists, and a school bus nearby.
Mindful of the risk that pursuing the vehicle may create, responding officers did not pursue it further. A short time later, police attempted to stop the suspect vehicle a second time, but once again, the driver failed to stop. Port Hardy RCMP partnered up with Port McNeill RCMP after receiving information that the suspect vehicle was leaving town, possibly headed towards the Coal Harbour area and as far south as the Nimpkish River bridge.
Their efforts to locate the vehicle and driver paid off. Shortly before 8 p.m., the alleged male driver, Joseph Stanley Hunt, was arrested.
“In this situation, our officers took the appropriate steps to apprehend this man, when it was safe to do so,” said Staff Sergeant Gord Brownridge.
“In choosing not to initially pursue this vehicle, our officers drew from their experience and knowledge that pursuits significantly raise the risk to other motorists, the public, the offender, and themselves.
“Ultimately, their actions led to the apprehension of this man, with minimized risk to the public, Brownridge said.
The Port Hardy RCMP thank all the witnesses that have come forward with observations related to this dangerous event. Investigators will be in contact with them in the coming days.
Hunt is charged with numerous offences including:
Failing to Stop for Police
Two counts of Mischief under $5,000
Breach of Probation
Two counts of Breach of an Undertaking
Two counts of Driving while Prohibited
Hunt made his first court appearance April 9 and remains in custody.