An erratic driver of what at first appeared to be a police vehicle was found impaired and in possession of a replica firearm, plus drugs for trafficking – all while a young child sat in the back seat.
At around 9 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 9) night, Saanich police responded to a report of an older white car equipped with emergency lights driving erratically at a high speed on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Burnside Road exit.
Police say officers saw a young child sitting in the back of the car located at a gas station on the 300-block of Burnside Road West.
While officers initially arrested the driver for impaired driving, a subsequent search of the car found drugs and an imitation gun, which was later determined to be a BB gun.
Police described the vehicle as an early 1990s Chrysler Dynasty with several flashing blue and white lights fastened to the front bumper, inside the windshield and side and rear windows. The lights attached to the car, according to police, clearly resembled those of an emergency vehicle — particularly a police car.
The male driver was taken into custody for impersonating a police officer, drug possession with intent to traffic as well as breach of a current firearms prohibition. He received a 90-day immediate driving prohibition and had his car impounded for 30 days, while police safely turned the child over to a family member.
“While the driver did not identify himself as a police officer to any member of the public that police were aware of that evening, he used his vehicle in a manner that was likely to cause the public to believe that he was a police officer,” Saanich police spokesperson Const. Markus Anastasiades said in a statement. “What was most shocking was that he was in the care of a young child while he drove impaired and in such a careless and dangerous manner.”
Saanich police say that as the investigation remains ongoing, charges have not been recommended.
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