Published in 24 Hours Vancouver | December 8, 2013 | Circulation: 280,000+
Syndicated on Sun News Network
Burnaby RCMP have filed theft and mischief charges against a man they say destroyed six of their cruisers using two stolen vehicles and then flooded Burnaby General Hospital’s emergency ward room early Sunday morning.
One of the vehicles used by the suspect was a five-tonne Ryder truck, which rammed the cruisers parked outside a community police station.
Charges may be added as police investigate links to a similar sprinkler incident which flooded a health facility in Surrey on Saturday night, before the suspect left driving a Jeep Cherokee similar to the one involved in the later crashes.
“There’s a possibility this same person was involved in the incident in Surrey,” Burnaby RCMP Staff Sgt. Major Buis told 24 hours. “We have yet to confirm it, but it was a similar vehicle and a similar description of the person.”
Buis said the 38-year old was taken for a “psychiatric and medical” assessment at Burnaby hospital, where he allegedly damaged a fire sprinkler head. He said the night of havoc likely cost several hundred thousands of dollars in damage.
“It’s extensive,” he said. “We’re still trying to total that.”
Fraser Health spokeswoman Tasleem Juma said 18 acute care emergency ward beds were immediately affected by the flooding, and ambulances were diverted to other hospitals for several hours Sunday, but nobody was injured.
“Staff were very quick-acting, so they were able to contain where the water flowed,” Juma said. “The patients in emergency at the time were moved to other areas of the hospital.”
Police said they knew the suspect to have a lengthy criminal history and believe he may have targeted the police.