Perth-Andover Man, Maplehurst woman await sentencing surrounding flight from police

·3 min read

Chandler Spittle, 20, of Perth-Andover, was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest in Woodstock provincial court on Friday, April 29.

Judge Brian McLean delivered the verdict following Spittle's trial on March 14.

The judge found Spittle not guilty on the charge of dangerous driving.

The charges stem from an incident on April 8, 2021, on Highway 110 in Florenceville-Bristol.

The judge noted Spittle, representing himself, testified in his defence while the Crown called two RCMP officers as witnesses.

McLean said testimony shows the two officers responded to a business owner's call at approximately 8 a.m. reporting a suspicious vehicle, a light blue Kia Forte, parked behind his business.

The officers testified they arrived on the scene in separate vehicles to find two people in the car, who they later identified as Spittle in the passenger seat and Ciera Ruff of Maplehurst in the driver's seat. One officer parked in front of the suspicious car while the other officer parked behind it.

They explained they approached the vehicle, which had no licence plate and not running, one officer going towards the driver's side and the other to the passenger side.

The officers said Spittle refused to roll down the window when instructed.

"At this point, things appeared to happen quickly and go badly for everyone concerned," McLean said.

The officers testified that Ruff started the car, and Spittle put it in gear. One officer smashed the window and reached in toward the gear shift. At the same time, they testified, Spittle yelled at the driver to "go, go, go."

The driver sped away, bumping one of the police cruisers, before heading around the business and onto the highway heading towards Florenceville-Bristol.

The officers jumped in their cars to pursue the suspects but pulled back after a few seconds, recognizing the danger.

One officer said he quickly reached a speed of 120 km/hr and immediately stopped the pursuit, noting the high volume of traffic, including school buses and people heading to work, at that hour of the morning.

Police later arrested Spittle, laying the three charges.

When delivering his verdicts, McLean said the evidence appeared clear surrounding counts 2 and 3, assault of the police officer, and resisting arrest.

He explained the assault charges surrounding the slapping of the police officer's hand as he tried to reach the car's gear shift constitute assault. While noting Spittle said he wasn't the one who hit the officer's hand, McLean said the RCMP testimony proved credible in his mind.

The judge also noted clear evidence of resisting a police officer. McLean found the defendant not guilty of dangerous driving, noting the Crown didn't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Spittle, as the passenger, was responsible for the vehicle's operation.

McLean ordered Spittle to return to court on Aug. 9 at 9:30 a.m. for sentencing.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Ruff attended court on Wednesday, April 27, to face a long list of charges related to the Florenceville-Bristol incident and others.

The RCMP charged Ruff with obstruction, uttering threats, assaulting a police officer, two counts of dangerous driving, two counts of failing to stop for police, theft of a 2012 Honda Civic, possession of stolen property, operating a motor vehicle without a plate displayed, and two counts of breach of a court order in connection with an incident which occurred on June 28 in Johnson Settlement.

Ruff changed her plea to guilty on most charges, while the Crown dropped others, including assaulting a police officer and one of the breach charges. Ruff will attend court on Aug.. 2 for sentencing.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting