A Nelson Police Department vehicle blocks traffic in September after a woman led officers on a chase through town. Photo: Tyler Harper

YEAR IN REVIEW: Crime in Nelson and RDCK

Our No. 1 story of 2019

A shocking stabbing in downtown Nelson highlighted a year of violence in the city and region that is the Star’s top story of 2019.

Ramita Kedia was waiting for the light to turn at the intersection of Baker and Stanley Streets on Sept. 27 when she was stabbed five times from behind.

Several witnesses intervened and saved Kedia’s life. Stephen Fowler, who was among the first to Kedia’s rescue, was also stabbed himself during the incident.

“There was a job that needed doing and I was in a position to do it,” Fowler said, “not because I am particularly brave or any of that. I just stopped thinking, and the job was to keep her from doing any more harm, and I did that.”

Fiona Coyle was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Kedia, a Slocan Valley resident, later told the Star she was grateful to all the strangers who helped save her.

“Now I am acutely aware of how fleeting people’s lives can be,” she said. “I want to be more selective with how I use my time in future and make sure I do things that bring me joy and not wait until someday.”

The seemingly random act of violence stunned the community, but it wasn’t the only incident in an unusually bloody year.

On Feb. 12, RCMP responded a report of shots fired in Bonnington. A driver of a truck was shot and killed by an officer, who told investigators he believed the driver was planning on running him over.

The Independent Investigations Office, which is called whenever an officer kills or injures someone, exonerated the officer in October.

Then, on Oct. 10, an RCMP officer was shot during a long standoff in Argenta.

A 28 year old man fled after being confronted by the officers who were executing an arrest warrant. The man retreated to a nearby cabin and fired shots from inside, one of which hit the officer.

The officer survived, and after an overnight standoff the man was peacefully taken into custody. Harry Richardson now faces four charges including attempted murder related to the shooting.

Meanwhile, two deaths in the Slocan Valley are still under investigation.

A 59-year-old man was found dead in Appledale on May 20. RCMP called the case a homicide, but have not released any further details.

The body of a 47-year-old man was also discovered in the Vallican area on Oct. 8. RCMP are treating the case as “suspicious.”

Still, not every noteworthy crime involved a death or injury.

In September, a woman led police on a chase in a stolen car. Her vehicle crashed into an electrical pole at Hume School while children played nearby, before continuing on across Nelson Bridge before she was arrested by Nelson police Chief Paul Burkart in the Six Mile area.

Brightney Dawn Soukochoff faces 28 charges for crimes allegedly committed in four communities following the chase.

The year also included some closure to 2018’s most shocking crime.

Miles Halverson pled guilty of manslaughter on Sept. 18 in the death of Matt Reeder, whom Halverson assaulted on June 5, 2018 in downtown Nelson.

Halverson’s sentencing hearing begins in January.

Related:

Citizens describe subduing knife attacker on Baker Street

Baker Street stabbing victim is healing and grateful

Police watchdog exonerates RCMP in Bonnington death

RCMP: Appledale homicide investigation still active

Man found dead in Vallican

Man pleads guilty in Baker Street death

Suspect who allegedly led Nelson police on chase facing 28 charges

Officer shot, man arrested after standoff near Argenta



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

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