RCMP dog Jager helped make an arrest after tracking assault suspect through snow and steep terrain in Nanaimo Lakes backcountry this past weekend. Photo Submitted

Police dog tracks suspect through wintry Vancouver Island backcountry

Assault suspect arrested after two-hour track by Nanaimo RCMP police dog Jager

One man is in custody and facing weapons and property-related charges after a Nanaimo RCMP police dog handler and other officers tracked him for hours through snow and rugged terrain following an alleged assault on the weekend.

According to police, the incident began at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when the suspect, David Banford, 39, and a woman, both from Nanaimo, were found inside a private cabin at Deadwood Creek Campsite, at Nanaimo Lakes, by two men who are the cabin’s owners. They called the RCMP and then decided to walk the suspects to the main gate at Nanaimo Lakes Road to wait for police to arrive.

As they were being walked to the gate, Banford allegedly pulled out a can of pepper spray, sprayed both of their escorts and fled.

Banford’s female companion did not resist and was taken into custody when police arrived. Constables Tanner Fowler and Josh Grafton with police dog Jager then set out to track down Banford, which took them on a two-hour trek, following Jager’s lead, through 30-centimetre deep snow, brush and up and down steep mountainous terrain – a track Grafton described as one of his toughest to date – before they caught up with Banford, who received several bites during his arrest. He was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital to be treated and was then held in custody overnight at Nanaimo RCMP detachment.

Given the remoteness of the search area and limited cell phone and radio coverage, additional officers and Nanaimo Search and Rescue were called in to help bring Banford to waiting police vehicles.

Banford appeared in provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday where he was charged with two counts of assault with a weapon and break-and-enter. He has been released from custody pending his next court appearance March 5.

The 29-year-old woman who was with him has also been released on a promise to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo May 7 to face a charge of one count of break-and-enter.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bears spotted near Saanich lake spooked by police, wandered off

Bear, cub not seen over weekend but police ask residents to be on alert

Homeless shelter at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre creates 40 jobs

The arena can house 45 people in pop-up pods

Bike lane closed, traffic impacted by landscaping in Metchosin

Construction begins May 25, to be complete by mid-July

Victoria’s 75,000 veggie plants ready to find a home

New gardeners line-up for Get Growing Victoria

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read