A man accused of leading Terrace RCMP on an intense chase in a stolen truck has been denied bail despite raising concerns regarding COVID-19 in correctional facilities.
Buddy Douglas Shanoss, 28, of Kispiox, B.C., faces charges including assaulting a police officer, possession of stolen property and driving while impaired after he was arrested following a police chase that ended after a civilian driving a Wonder Bread truck blocked a bridge in the Terrace area.
The chase began after Terrace RCMP responded to a report of an impaired driver Nov. 29, in a pickup truck matching the description of a vehicle that evaded police the previous day. RCMP set up a road block on Hwy 16 near the Dudley Little Bridge, but the suspect pickup truck rammed through the road block, nearly injuring two officers. That is about the time the driver of the Wonder Bread truck parked his vehicle across the highway, stopping the suspect pickup truck.
After several months in custody, Shanoss was initially granted bail March 2o, under the condition that he reside at a drug rehabilitation facility near Kamloops. He is accused of breaching bail conditions by failing to return to the rehab facility after a trip to hospital March 21, stealing a pickup truck, and remaining at large for weeks until he was arrested in Smithers May 6.
Crown counsel laid out these accusations as part of a detailed list of Shanoss’ alleged criminal activity over the last six months which was presented at Shanoss’ most recent bail hearing, on May 12, according to a judgement document from that hearing. Shanoss is also accused of failing to report to a probation officer in New Hazelton on Nov. 7, just before the chase in Terrace.
The presiding judge, M. J. Brecknell, wrote in the judgement that the court must factor those allegations into its final decision for the bail hearing. He noted the bail hearing was a reverse-onus situation, meaning it was Shanoss’ responsibility to prove he should be released on bail.
Shanoss’ attorney presented a bail plan arguing Shanoss should be released on bail to a house arrest situation, with conditions mandating he attend drug treatment and agree to weekly drug testing. According to the judgement document, Shanoss said at the hearing he is too old to continue a criminal lifestyle and he wants to get off drugs. He also said he is afraid to live in a correctional facility because of the pandemic.
Brecknell called the bail plan unsatisfactory and denied bail, noting Shanoss’ alleged history of violating bail conditions.
“The likelihood of his further offending and his possible endangerment of the public and RCMP members cannot be reduced to an acceptable level by any bail conditions that might be crafted,” the judge wrote.
The judge acknowledged correctional facilities are vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks, which he factored into the decision, noting Shanoss is not extraordinarily vulnerable to the pandemic.
“There is no evidence Mr. Shanoss has any related health vulnerabilities,” Brecknell wrote. “The factors suggesting his detention are manifold and the balancing of them with the Covid-19 situation still requires his detention on these matters.”