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Suspect arrested after kidnapping lumber truck driver at gunpoint


On November 6, 2017, at about 4:15 p.m., a man overpowered police officers, stole a lumber truck, and held the truck driver at gunpoint for more than 4 hours.

The man, David Lee Chappell, 33, was found slumped over behind the wheel of a running vehicle at the Wire Cache rest area on Hwy 5, south of Avola, B.C., according to Clearwater Times.

The officer suspected that the man was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol so he put him in the back of the police car.

Suspect Fled Police Custody, Then Hijacked A Truck

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk explained what happened next, “When being advised of being placed under arrest, the 33-year-old suspect managed to get out of the police vehicle, overpower the officer and flee in the minivan northbound on Highway 5 with the officer following.”

“Approximately three-kilometers south of Blue River, it is alleged that the suspect pulled in front of a pick-up truck forcing the pick-up truck to stop.”

The police then became increasingly aware that Chappell was armed with a handgun as he approached the pickup truck driver. When the officer caught up to Chappell, Chappell had already abandoned his attempts to take the pickup truck. The pickup truck driver was able to flee the scene.

Chappell jumped back into the original escape vehicle and headed further north down the road.

“It was later reported that the suspect had approached a semi-truck at the roadside, smashed out one of the windows and attempted unsuccessfully to convince the trucker to drive him away,” Moskaluk added.

“It was at this time that the suspect jumped into a second semi-truck parked at the location and is alleged to have threatened the driver and brandished a gun. The trucker proceeded southbound with police officers responding in unmarked vehicles who followed from a distance.”

Chappell allegedly stole the lumber truck near Avola.

“A Critical Incident Commander, the Southeast District Emergency Response Team and Police Service Dog unit were engaged with ERT joining the convoy unbeknownst to the suspect.”

Knowing that Chappell stole a CMV, the police issued a highway closure near the area weigh scales.

“Police were able to communicate with the truck driver via telephone who feigned he was speaking to his dispatcher in order to not alert the suspect. Numerous police units caught up to the southbound semi and confirmed the location of the truck. A tactical plan was formulated to permit the driver to safely exit the truck once it stopped at the designated location.”

Truck Driver Escaped, Suspect Continued To Flee In Truck

“As planned, the truck pulled into the weigh scales west of Kamloops on Hwy 1 and the driver was able to exit his truck and sought shelter with the positioned ERT officers. The truck was immediately disabled by ERT and attempts to make contact with the suspect in the cab of the semi were unsuccessful.”

Since Chappell was unresponsive to officers, officers threw gas canisters into the cab in an attempt to extract Chappell.

Chappell did not exit the truck; rather, he continued down the road a few hundred feet before sliding off the road and flipping.

Chappell exited the flipped truck to find himself surrounded by police and police service dogs. Chappell was then arrested without further incidents. He sustained minor dog bites but did not suffer any injuries from flipping the truck. The handgun was confiscated from the cab when Chappell was taken into custody.

Chappell has been charged with kidnapping, use of a firearm in the commission of an offense and resisting or wilfully obstructing a peace officer.


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