Car­bon­ear man charged with armed rob­bery

Po­lice de­scribe in­ci­dent as des­per­ate, dan­ger­ous and vi­o­lent act


The Car­bon­ear man ac­cused of com­mit­ting an armed rob­bery at a phar­macy in South River on Aug. 20 has been re­manded into cus­tody on what po­lice are de­scrib­ing as six “ex­tremely se­ri­ous charges.”

Michael Brian Bow­man, 25, ap­peared in pro­vin­cial court in Pla­cen­tia on Aug. 21, where he waived his right to a bail hear­ing. He is sched­uled to en­ter a plea on the charges dur­ing a Sept. 5 court ap­pear­ance in Har­bour Grace.

Pol ice a l lege Bow­man was re­spon­si­ble for an alarm­ing and vi­o­lent armed rob­bery at Bac­calieu Trail Phar­macy at mid-morn­ing on Aug. 20.

A masked man car­ry­ing a ri­fle en­tered the busi­ness, marched to the rear of the build­ing, pointed a ri­fle at the phar­ma­cist and de­manded a spe­cific pre­scrip­tion drug, po­lice say.

Ac­cord­ing to owner Linda Sesk, the phar­ma­cist com­plied and threw the drugs on the floor near the sus­pect.

“He pointed the gun di­rectly at the phar­ma­cist,” she later told The Com­pass. “It was all over very quickly.”

There were five em­ploy­ees in the store at the time, though it’s not be­lieved any cus­tomers wit­nessed the in­ci­dent.

Seth de­scribed it as a ter­ri­fy­ing in­ci­dent that left her em­ploy­ees feel­ing dis­tressed and un­easy.

The ac­cused fled the scene in a car — a white Mit­subishi Lancer — and was later ob­served trav­el­ling to­wards Bay Roberts on Vet­er­ans

“Upon lo­cat­ing the sus­pect ve­hi­cle, we stopped it in as safe a lo­ca­tion as pos­si­ble and or­dered him out of the ve­hi­cle at gun­point.”

— RCMP spokesman

Memo­rial High­way.

Of­fi­cers with the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Dis­trict RCMP later stopped the car at the ac­cess road to Har­bour Grace, where an ar­rest was made with­out in­ci­dent.

A po­lice spokesman, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, ex­plained what hap­pened:

“Our risk as­sess­ment led us to be­lieve he was armed and dan­ger­ous. Based on this we were con­cerned for our safety and the safety of the pub­lic. Upon lo­cat­ing the sus­pect ve­hi­cle, we stopped it in as safe a lo­ca­tion as pos­si­ble and or­dered him out of the ve­hi­cle at gun­point.

“He com­plied. We took him out and brought him to the ground. He was co-op­er­a­tive,” said the of­fi­cer.

A loaded .22 cal­i­bre rif le was found in the ve­hi­cle.

“It helps that they have him, but it’s very dis­ap­point­ing,” Sesk added. “I be­lieve this was a very des­per­ate young per­son who couldn’t get a pre­scrip­tion filled, and needed it right away.”

The phar­macy is lo­cated at the in­ter­sec­tion of Route 70 (Roaches Line) and Route 60 (Con­cep­tion Bay High­way), and has been in op­er­a­tion since the early 1970s.

Sesk said there have been sev­eral in­ci­dents —mostly break-ins — at the busi­ness over the years, but never to this ex­treme.

“The girls are very up­set, and as you can imag­ine, the phar­ma­cist is very up­set,” she said.

The of­fi­cer said rob­beries do oc­cur in the re­gion, but de­scribed the South River in­ci­dent as an es­ca­la­tion.

“You don’t go into a phar­macy with a loaded ri­fle, al­legedly threaten em­ploy­ees for pre­scrip­tion nar­cotics un­less it’s for fi­nan­cial gain or an ad­dic­tion is­sue. At this point, we be­lieve it’s an ad­dic­tion is­sue,” the of­fi­cer stated.

“It was a des­per­ate, dan­ger­ous and vi­o­lent act.”

The ac­cused does not have a crim­i­nal record, and did not ap­pear to be un­der the influence of drugs or al­co­hol at the time of his ar­rest.

Au­thor­i­ties ex­pressed re­lief there were no in­juries, but said the “emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­cern” for those in­volved can­not be over­looked.

The ac­cused, mean­while, faces six charges. They in­clude the fol­low­ing: rob­bery with a firearm, point­ing a firearm, us­ing a mask in the com­mis­sion of an in­dictable of­fence, pos­ses­sion of a weapon for the pur­pose of com­mit­ting an of­fence, us­ing a f irearm whi le com­mit­ting an in­dictable of­fence, and care­less use of a firearm.


Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

A Car­bon­ear man is fac­ing six charges fol­low­ing a dar­ing mid-morn­ing armed rob­bery at this phar­macy in South River on Aug. 20.

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