A 25-year-old Qualicum Beach man has been charged with two counts of assault with a weapon and two counts of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
On Tuesday, Aug. 24 at approximately 5 p.m., Oceanside RCMP received two separate reports involving the same vehicle. In the first incident, a member of the public reported the driver of a black Honda Civic had pointed a firearm at them while stopped at an intersection in Parksville.
Shortly after, a man was confronted on the orange bridge and was sprayed with bear spray by the driver associated with the black Honda. Oceanside RCMP and BC Highway Patrol began investigating and scoured the area for the vehicle and its occupant.
At approximately 7:20 p.m., a motorcycle officer with BC Highway Patrol was conducting speed enforcement on Highway 19 near the Nanoose Bay rest stop when he observed a small black car travelling south at well over the posted speed limit.
The car’s speed was confirmed at 128 km/h in the 90 km/h zone, using a laser speed measuring device. The car made no attempt to slow down as it went past the officer, who then jumped on his motorcycle and went after the car that had disappeared from view.
As the officer neared Bayview Drive, the black car could not be seen and he slowed down, turned off the emergency equipment, and continued to drive south. Once the officer approached Capilano Road, he came across a collision that had occurred moments before that involved the same black car observed earlier.
The officer called for additional assistance, including Fire Rescue and BC Ambulance, as the vehicle was extensively damaged, the airbags had deployed and the extent of injuries to the lone driver was unknown.
The officer was able to determine the identity of the driver and linked the vehicle’s licence plates to the two earlier reports of assault with a weapon. The driver was arrested and the vehicle was subsequently searched. Police found evidence of the two prior weapons offences and a partially consumed bottle of liquor. The driver was taken to hospital where it was determined his injuries were minor in nature. The driver provided a mandatory breath sample which resulted in a ‘fail’ reading.
Oceanside RCMP and BC Highway Patrol Parksville are continuing to investigate these incidents. Once the dust settled, Clayton Solberg was charged with two counts of assault with a weapon and two counts of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose. In addition, he received a 90-day driving prohibition due to failing the roadside breath test and issued a violation ticket for speeding. Solberg appeared before a judge and was released on bail with a number of conditions pending further court appearances.
“These incidents demonstrate how BC Highway Patrol works with local detachments and the public to make our highways and communities safer together,” said Cpl. Michelle LeBrun, spokesperson for BCHP in Parksville. “We are happy to have been of assistance to help Oceanside RCMP further its investigation into the assault allegations while also holding the impaired driver accountable.”
— NEWS Staff, submitted