CANMORE – A spike belt, an alleged car-jacking, 50 suspected tabs of fentanyl and a dog bite to the leg to apprehend a suspect, all sound like part of the plot for a crime drama, but it all took place near Canmore this week.
On Monday (Sept. 16), around 5 p.m., RCMP suspected drugs were present in a vehicle pulled over for traffic offences on the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park when the car and two suspects inside it fled.
According to an RCMP press release, the suspects drove eastbound on the highway, then went south on Highway 40 into Kananaskis Country, before turning around and driving westbound towards Canmore on the TCH.
Utilizing officers in the pursuit from all over the Bow Valley, including Banff, Canmore and Kananaskis RCMP – with help from Calgary Police Service Helicopter Air Watch for Community Safety (HAWCS) and the RCMP police dog service – a spike belt was eventually deployed west of Dead Man’s Flats, damaging the tires of the vehicle.
However, the suspects continued to drive into oncoming traffic, before a male suspect jumped out and attempted to steal a different vehicle by force.
“He attempted to remove the driver from the other vehicle that was passing by – not using a gun, just physical force – but [the person] was able to drive away,” Cpl. Sabrina Clayton with the Canmore RCMP said.
Within seconds after the attempted hi-jacking, the RCMP police dog bit the male suspect in the leg and he was apprehended into police custody.
The suspect sustained minor injuries according to RCMP, while the female suspect was arrested without further incident.
Upon searching the vehicle, RCMP found approximately 50 tablets of fentanyl, 30 grams of methamphetamine, five grams of cocaine and a loaded, prohibited handgun.
RCMP officials said the prohibited weapon was a handgun with no lawful reason for the suspect to possess it.
Antonio Nolasco Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, are facing 20 charges each, including robbery of a motor vehicle with violence, possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine for the purposes of trafficking,
Nolasco Padia appeared in the Canmore Courthouse Wednesday (Sept. 18) morning through closed circuit TV from the Calgary Remand Centre before Judge Les Grieve.
His bail hearing was set for Oct. 9. Anthony was released from custody and is set to appear in court mid October.