Jail time for driver involved in Castlegar road rampage

Sean Patrick Byrne caused havoc on Castlegar roads in November

A man who drove recklessly through a Castlegar road construction site last November was sentenced by the courts in June.

Sean Patrick Byrne faced over 20 charges after stealing a vehicle, driving ‘Grand-Theft-Auto’ style through road construction on Columbia Avenue, fleeing the police and then trying to steal another two vehicles.

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Included in the charges were impaired driving, six counts of theft of a vehicle, fleeing police, assault, assault with a weapon, possession of stolen property, and possession of a controlled substance.

Byrne, 28, was charged after he attempted to rob a woman who was giving him a ride in Castlegar on November 7, 2018. The woman got away, but he stole her car.

He barrelled through the construction on Columbia Avenue, knocking down traffic pylons, swerving wildly and even going up on the sidewalk, according to witnesses.

The RCMP said Byrne nearly hit a construction flagger and several workers. He then fled west on Highway 3, until the vehicle got a flat tire.

Police said the driver tried to force a pickup truck off the road. The pickup driver stopped and was assaulted by Byrne, who then tried to steal that vehicle. When that plan failed he tried to steal a transport truck that had also stopped.

He was eventually subdued by the drivers of the pickup truck and the transport, and held for police.

Byrne had just been released on bail the previous day after being arrested in the Okanagan, after he led police on a high-speed chase near Vernon.

Bryne has been held in jail since his arrest in November.

In the end he faced punishment for six of the offences.

Byrne was sentenced to 18 months probation for one count of theft of a motor vehicle, 18 months probation and a two-year driving prohibition for being in care or control vehicle while impaired, 48 days in jail, 18 months probation and a two-year prohibition for dangerous driving, 18 months probation for theft of a motor vehicle, 18 months probation and a two-year driving prohibition for fleeing a police officer, and 18 months for a third count of theft of a vehicle.

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