Updated at 3:40 p.m.: While the suspect who led police on a wild chase from Sudbury down Highway 17 and up Kukagami Lake Road is in custody, there is no word on charges as of yet, nor has the man’s name been released.
GSPS Staff Sergeant Marc Brunette told Sudbury.com the arrest was peaceful, with the suspect surrendering to police about 15 kilometres up Kukagami Lake Road. The 28-year-old man was arrested and transported to hospital by ambulance.
GSPS spokesperson Kaitlyn Dunn told Sudbury.com police will not be holding a press conference to provide additional information on the incident, saying only that a media release detailing the charges would be issued, possibly tomorrow.
Updated at 2:50 p.m.: Greater Sudbury Police have confirmed a 28-year-old has been taken into custody in the area of Kukagami Lake Road.
The man is described as standing 6-1 and weighing around 200 pounds, with dirty blond or light brown hair and blue eyes, and dressed in a reflective construction jumpsuit.
GSPS said the man was arrested without incident, suggesting he did not resist arrest despite spending the past several hours leading police on a chase from Sudbury to Kukagami Lake Road and into the wooded areas north of Highway 17.
No further details have been released as of yet. More to come.
Updated at 2:31 p.m.: Police managed to deploy a spike strip as a fleeing pickup truck was turning off Highway 17 onto Kukagami Lake Road, but were a bit too slow and the driver managed to slip through, an eyewitness told Sudbury.com this afternoon.
Reporters are on the scene at Kukagami General Store, at the intersection of Kukagami Lake Road and Highway 17, where GSPS and OPP have set up a road blockade and command post.
Witness Dan Ranelli told Sudbury.com he was turning onto Kukagami Lake Road from Wahnapitae when he saw police attempting to deploy a spike belt as the stolen pickup — a white and black Ford F-150 with B&D Manufacturing branding on it — was trying to flee down the bush road.
Ranelli said police weren’t able to get the belt fully deployed across the roadway, and the pickup slipped through without any tire damage.
Another witness who encountered the truck on Ashagami Lake Road confirmed the truck’s tires appeared undamaged when he saw it. Mike Laurin said he and his wife live on Ashagami Lake Road and had left home around 11 a.m. when the pickup turned the corner, spotted them and drove straight at them as though he intended to crash into the Laurins. Laurin said he only avoided a collision by speeding up and swerving out of the way.
Updated 1:06 p.m.: A witness to the robbery that led to the ongoing hunt for a pickup truck involved in multiple collisions in Sudbury says the man stole medication for a Shoppers Drug Mart on Riverside Drive.
The manager of Vespa Street Kitchen, who did not wish to be named, said a loud knock on the door of the Regent Street restaurant this morning alerted her to the situation. Though the restaurant was closed, a woman was frantically knocking at the door and asking her to call 911. She did, and went outside in time to see a large man (she could not provide any other descriptors) with his hands full of pills from the pharmacy.
The woman said the man ran to a vehicle and tried to speed away, scraping her car and several others in the parking lot.
"If he had a gun, he could have shot me dead," she said.
Updated 12:49 p.m.: The latest on the active search for a fleeing pickup truck involved in a robbery on Riverside Drive in Sudbury has placed the vehicle in the area of Ashagami Lake Road. Residents in that area are asked to shelter in place.
The OPP helicopter is en route from Orillia and is expected to be in the area around 1:30 p.m.
GSPS has deployed its tactical unit and canine unit to assist.
Updated Sept. 2 at 12:30 p.m.: Greater Sudbury Police say the white pickup truck being sought by city police and OPP was involved in a robbery on Riverside Drive before fleeing the city.
GSPS said the call came in at 10:30 a.m. this morning regarding the robbery.
“The driver then proceeded to drive the vehicle erratically and aggressively throughout the city and was involved in numerous collision with vehicles and structures,” GSPS spokesperson Kaitlyn Dunn told Sudbury.com. “At this time, one person has been transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries after a motor vehicle collision involving the truck.
“Anyone with information related to the white and black B&D Manufacturing Ford F-150 with Ontario licence plate AY70909 is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately. Community members are asked to not pursue the vehicle or engage with the man.”
On Facebook, Clifton Skelliter shared a video of his interaction with the vehicle.
“I wanted to capture this scary scary moment,” Skelliter said. “This person was driving towards vehicles like he was playing chicken and would swerve out of the way (at the) last moment, but then scrape alongside the vehicles.
“Some of the vehicles that stopped he would just hit them like it was bumper cars. And then he would speed up. It was terrifying and the police showed up shortly after. I have no idea if they caught him or what happened but it was a very shocking experience. The moment I put the camera down at the end of this is when he turned his vehicle around and came flying towards me. He didn’t hit me, but I thought he was going to crush me and my little mini Cooper.”
You can watch the video below (click the video to play and select Full Screen to see it clearly.)
Sudbury.com did reach out to B&D Manufacturing, as the truck is emblazoned with the Chelmsford firm’s branding. The business could not provide additional information.
“Officers are now in the area of Kukagami Lake Road/Ashagami as the vehicle was last seen on Kukagami Lake Road,” Dunn said. “Residents in the area are asked to remain indoors as the man is expected to be aggressive and is actively evading police.”
If you have signed up for Sudbury Alerts you are likely receiving text messages or have received phone calls related to the ongoing incident. GSPS wants you to know these calls are not a scam and “community members should not call 9-1-1 or our non-emergency number in order to confirm.”
Greater Sudbury Police and the OPP are asking motorists to avoid Highway 17 eastbound as both police services are attempting to locate and stop a white Ford pickup that is actively evading police.
The vehicle originally was said to be black but police have since updated that information. The pickup is white with a black tailgate and B&D Manufacturing decals.
There are attempts to close the highway now. The pickup's license plate is AY7 0909, police said. The incident is occurring near Kukagami Lake Road in the area of Ashagami "in relation to erratic & aggressive driver involved in numerous collisions," GSPS tweeted a short time ago. Residents of Kukagami Lake Road and Ashagami asked to remain indoors and off the roadway.
The incident may have begun on Regent Street as Sudbury.com has received a news tip the truck may have been involved in multiple collisions.
GSPS has patrolled Kukagami Lake Road with the canine unit, but have turned up nothing so far. As well, the GSPS is deploying a drone to assist in the search for a vehicle.
The vehicle is on Highway 17 heading in the direction of Sturgeon Falls and police are in the process of trying to close the highway in the interest of public safety.
Drivers are asked to use caution until this suspect is apprehended. The public is advised to remain away from the suspect and suspect vehicle. Please only make urgent 9-1-1 calls at this time.
This story will be updated as more information is available.