Man jailed fol­low­ing dan­ger­ous po­lice chase

Driver ditches stolen truck, flees into bush and then tries to swim away from the RCMP

Penticton Herald - - CITY - By Pen­tic­ton Her­ald Staff

Af­ter be­ing spot­ted in a stolen ve­hi­cle last week by staff at the Okana­gan Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre and trig­ger­ing a dan­ger­ous po­lice chase, the driver is go­ing back to jail – as an inmate.

Gre­gory An­gus Mon­tague, 37, pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000, dan­ger­ous driv­ing and fail­ing to stop for po­lice, and was sen­tenced July 26 to one year be­hind bars and a three-year driv­ing pro­hi­bi­tion.

Po­lice say they be­gan track­ing Mon­tague around 6 p.m. on July 25 when a woman re­ported her truck had been stolen from the Pen­tic­ton Wal­mart park­ing lot.

The truck showed up less than an hour later at OCC, where Mon­tague ar­rived to drop off an item for an inmate.

Jail staff called the RCMP, who caught up with the truck head­ing north­bound on High­way 97 near Vaseux Lake. A spike belt was de­ployed close by at Wey­er­haeuser road and blew out three of the truck’s tires.

Mon­tague “did not stop for po­lice af­ter driv­ing over the spike belt and con­tin­ued to drive another 2.6 kilo­me­tres through res­i­den­tial streets in Okana­gan Falls and on High­way 97,” RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said in a press re­lease.

“The truck came within sev­eral feet of hit­ting a fire hy­drant and a com­mer­cial build­ing, ran two stop signs, al­most struck pedes­tri­ans and forced one ve­hi­cle on the high­way to swerve around it.”

Mon­tague ditched the truck just north of Okana­gan Falls and fled into the bush on the west side of the high­way. Of­fi­cers spot­ted him again about 10 min­utes later run­ning into Okana­gan Lake on the east side of the high­way. Af­ter a 20-minute swim, Mon­tague was ar­rested.

A search of the truck turned up doc­u­ments in Mon­tague’s name, a small amount of metham­phetamine, an open bot­tle of booze and mul­ti­ple pairs of pli­ers.

Court records show Mon­tague had been sen­tenced to 55 days in jail on June 19 for breach­ing a court or­der. It’s un­clear how he was re­leased in time to com­mit the new of­fences.

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