UPDATE: Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

It was a busy shift for Police Service Dog ‘Griff’ last week, collaring not only a fleeing suspect, but locating a large quantity of illicit drugs.

A man who picked a fight with a police dog after fleeing RCMP is now nursing an injured arm.

The incident began just after midnight on Dec. 7 when a member of the Lower Mainland’s Integrated Police Dog Service (IPDS) and his partner, Police Service Dog Griff, spotted a vehicle that had been reported stolen in Surrey.

Working with Chilliwack RCMP, they attempted to stop the vehicle on Olds Drive near Chances Community Gaming Centre. However, the driver evaded police, smashing his green Ford Explorer into South Side Church.

Despite substantial damage to the vehicle, the driver continued his escape, crashing into one of the police vehicles.

That was enough to immobilize the Explorer, but not the driver. He fled on foot, with police dog Griff in pursuit.

Griff quickly caught up to the suspect, who then attempted to fight off the animal.

“Unfortunately, this only made matters worse for the driver,” said IPDS media relations officer Cpl. Mike Jordan. “It’s not well-advised to pick a fight with a police dog.”

Ryan Sheldon Mcclinton is charged with possession of stolen property, flight from a peace officer, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and mischief $5,000 or under.

Mcclinton sustained an injury to his arm and was subsequently taken into custody. The passenger was arrested without incident.

Police found an imitation firearm that resembled a sub-machine pistol. Also seized was body armour worn by the driver.

Mcclinton appeared via video in Chilliwack court on Dec. 17. He is also facing a charge of theft $5,000 or under and wilfully resisting arrest from an alleged incident on Nov. 2. For the Dec. 7 incident he also faces a charge of operating a vehicle while disqualified along with two breaches on another file from July 4, 2017 when he and David Geoghegan were arrested.

In that incident, Mcclinton was found guilty of possession of stolen property under $5,000, dangerous operation of a vehicle, and assault a peace officer with a weapon.

Cpl. Jordan of the IPDS said Dec. 7 was a productive shift for Griff.

On another call that night, Griff located two large bags of what’s believed to be crystal methamphetamine. The bags were inside a vehicle that had fled from the U.S. across the Canadian border and ended up in a ditch in Abbotsford.

“All in all, a busy night for the Lower Mainland’s gold star police dogs,” said Cpl. Jordan

The investigations for both files are active and ongoing, he added.

Mcclinton is remanded in custody with his next court day on Jan. 7.

READ MORE: 1 arrested after bizarre incident at U.S.-B.C. border involving bags of meth, car crash

RELATED: Police dog Griff nabs suspect who fled in SUV from Chilliwack to Hope


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paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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