Castlegar road-rampage suspect makes appearance in court

Case remanded until the new year

A man facing charges after a “Grand Theft Auto”- style rampage in Castlegar last month will be spending Christmas in jail.

Sean Patrick Byrne had his case remanded by a judge in court in Rossland on Thursday morning.

Bryne, 28, was charged after a man attempted to rob a woman who was giving him a ride in Castlegar on Nov. 7. The woman got away but the man stole her car.

The driver barrelled through the construction then underway on Columbia Ave., knocking down traffic pylons, swerving wildly and even going up on the sidewalk, according to witnesses.

The RCMP said the suspect car nearly hit a construction flagger and several workers. The suspect fled west on Highway 3, until the vehicle got a flat tire.

Police said the driver tried to force a pickup truck off the road. The pickup driver stopped and was assaulted by the suspect, who then tried to steal that vehicle. When that failed he tried to steal a transport truck that had also stopped.

The suspect was eventually subdued by the drivers of the pickup truck and the transport, and held for police.

Byrne faces 15 charges in connection with the incident, including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, assault with a weapon, and possession of stolen property.

He had been released on bail the previous day after being arrested in the Okanagan, when a man led police on a high-speed chase near Vernon.

Byrne appeared in Rossland court via video conference. Judge Robert Brown remanded Byrne in custody to give the Crown and defence time to exchange information.

His next appearance will be on Jan. 10.

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