Charges have been laid after an incident on Wednesday (Feb. 9) that involved the Air One police helicopter following a driver who fled from officers in Abbotsford and a commercial flight having to be redirected.
Const. Jody Thomas said the incident began at 11:36 a.m., when Air One alerted the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) that they were following a vehicle with mismatched licence plates into Abbotsford.
Officers found the blue Chevrolet Equinox – later confirmed to be stolen – and tried to stop it, but the driver sped off.
Thomas said Air One continued to follow the car as it drove dangerously through Abbotsford.
Meanwhile, an incoming Swoop Airlines flight was redirected with the help of the air traffic control tower to allow Air One to continue following the vehicle in areas that were within the flight path of Abbotsford International Airport, Thomas said.
She said, as the suspect travelled from Abbotsford into Langley, he drove into oncoming traffic to pass vehicles, drove on the shoulder of the road, blew through red lights and stop signs, and drove at high speeds.
An hour later, at 12:36 p.m., the driver collided with a police vehicle in the area of 82 Avenue and 200 Street in Langley. Thomas said neither the officer nor the suspect was injured.
The suspect kept going, abandoned the vehicle and ran away. He was soon taken into custody with the help of the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service and the Langley RCMP.
James Christopher Gordon, 39, of Surrey has been charged with dangerous driving, fleeing from police, possession of stolen property over $5,000, driving while disqualified and breaching his probation.
According to the provincial court database, Gordon has numerous prior convictions for offences including possession of stolen property over and under $5,000, driving while prohibited, dangerous driving, breaching his conditions, drug possession, trafficking in stolen property, fraud and theft.