(Image / Nika Lynne Massey)

Officers in the West Shore had their hands full this morning after 3 “high priority” incidents developed simultaneously in the area.

At approximately 9 a.m., police responded to the report of a man who was walking on top of concrete barriers like a gymnastics beam on the Trans Canada Highway near the Old Island Highway overpass.

While enroute to the scene, officers were told that two people had managed to talk the man off the railing. However, as soon as he touched the ground he rushed to one of the individual’s vehicles, a Ford F150 truck, and took off down the highway at a high rate of speed.

The man continued to drive before eventually crashing the vehicle into a telephone pole on Helmcken Road near the Trans Canada Highway. After crashing, he fled the vehicle on foot and stole a canoe from a nearby residence on Chancellor Avenue and pushed off into the waters of Portage Inlet.

Officers then caught up to the man and found him drifting in the water in a paddleless canoe. Police eventually convinced the man to give himself up, and took him into custody. He is set to undergo a mental health assessment.

“We want to thank View Royal Fire Department and the BC Ambulance Services who were on scene and ready to assist,” said Cst. Nancy Saggar of the West Shore RCMP in a release.

“The View Royal Fire Department was in the process of deploying their boat into the water when the male gave himself up.”

The investigation is ongoing, and police are asking anyone with information on the incident to contact the West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Just the tip of the iceberg

Meanwhile, two more serious incidents were unfolding around the same time.

At approximately 8:15 a.m., a woman reported seeing a suspicious package at a bus stop located on Goldstream Avenue and Jacklin Avenue. After the mysterious item was investigated it was determined that work was being done at the bus stop, and that wires that power the shelter were covered in a bag to protect them from weather.

“It was some wiring at a bus shelter that was covered in a bag to protect it from water,” said Michelle Mahovlich, Director of Engineering for the City of Langford.

As officers were dealing with those two incidents, police received reports that a truck was driving against the flow of traffic on the Trans Canada Highway.

“We want to also thank the Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) for assisting in locating the truck travelling down the wrong side of the highway,” said Saggar.

“Today’s events highlight the challenges of police work and managing priority calls.”
Police say the three events are unrelated.