Lake Country and Vernon police combine to deal with handgun threat

Tense moments at Vernon Army Camp with Lake Country man arrested

There were some tense moments near the Vernon Army Camp Monday as Vernon RCMP officers helped Lake Country counterparts deal with reports of impaired individuals in a vehicle with a handgun.

The incident began after Vernon RCMP received a heads-up from its dispatch centre at about 7:30 p.m. to be on the lookout for a blue Ford Taurus leaving Lake Country, near Woody’s Pub, with a male passenger associated to the vehicle reportedly seen with a handgun in the car, and the occupants were believed to be impaired.

“One of our traffic officers located the vehicle on Highway 97 near Birnie Road, entering Vernon northbound well in excess of the posted 90 km/hour speed limit, obtaining a speed reading on radar of 142 km/hour for the vehicle,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.

The traffic officer, assisted by several additional members, conducted a high-risk traffic stop with the vehicle on 15th Avenue at 32nd Street, the entrance to the Vernon Army Camp.

Officers had their guns drawn as three occupants were removed from vehicle by verbal commands, then they were all told to take a prone position on the ground.

“They were handcuffed while officers continued the investigation,” said Molendyk.

The driver, a 46-year-old Lake Country man, was determined to be vehicle owner. He was arrested for dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and was also determined to be under the influence after failing a roadside screening test.

A pellet pistol was recovered from the car and seized.

The driver was issued 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP), which carries a 30-day vehicle impound. He also received a seven-day vehicle impound for the excessive speed violation, a defective window on the vehicle and the car was ordered to be inspected.

All of the people in the car released roadside.

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