Police chase leads to five years in jail

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

A man involved in a high-speed chase and an armed stand-off with police near Kinuso two years ago will serve another two years behind bars.

Charles Edward Bleakley, 44, was handed a global sentence of five-and a-half years when he appeared April 29 in Court of Queen’s Bench in Peace River.

He was credited with 1,173 days served in custody.

Bleakley was suspended from driving for 10 years and prohibited from owning, possessing or using firearms for life.

He was sentenced for failing to stop for a peace officer, dangerous driving, possession of stolen property, operating a motor vehicle while disqualified, unlawful use of a firearm, possession of a weapon contrary to an order and possession of a prohibited loaded restricted firearm.

He earlier pleaded guilty to those charges.

Bleakley was initially charged with 24 charges in the incident March 8, 2017 that started with a stolen car in Slave Lake and led to a police chase near Kinuso.

One half of the original charges were dismissed by the judge before the hearing, says a report from Alberta Justice and Solicitor General media communications.

Police report that on March 8 at about 11:45 a.m., Faust RCMP conducted a traffic stop near Range Road 102 and Township Road 734, with a vehicle reported stolen from the Slave Lake area the previous evening.

The male occupant stopped for police, then fled into a wooded area, as one officer heard what was believed to be one shot from a firearm while the male fled.

A short time later, Bleakley allegedly stole another vehicle near the area and brandished what a witness believed to be a firearm.

Police located the stolen vehicle driving on Highway 33 and after a brief pursuit, the suspect lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a ditch.

Bleakley was armed and barricaded in the vehicle.

When police went to arrest him, he threatened to take his own life.

Around midnight, RCMP Emergency Response Team members arrested Bleakley without incident.

He suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from hospital into police custody.

The highway was re-opened at 1:00 a.m.

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