The light at the end of the tunnel just got a little dimmer for a Red Deer man sentenced on more charges while already serving a 10-year sentence in a federal prison.
Daniel Edward Apetrea, 36, had been released on a recognizance in connection with other charges at about 1 a.m. on Aug. 18, 2014, when Red Deer City RCMP were called to reports of a suspicious vehicle sitting in a parking lot in the Highland Green area at the north side of the city.
The first officer at the scene discovered a stolen half ton with two people asleep inside — a man and a woman, Crown prosecutor Ed Ring said in presenting an agreed statement of facts during Apetrea’s sentencing hearing in Red Deer provincial court on Tuesday.
The RCMP constable got out of the police car and approached the truck with his gun drawn.
As the police officer approached the driver’s side window, Apetrea threw the truck into gear and headed it straight for the parked police car, ramming it several times and then ramming another pickup truck in his efforts to get out of the parking lot, said Ring.
The fleeing Ford collided with a car that was travelling on Hermary Street and then veered onto a lawn and hit a tree.
Two suspects jumped out and fled on foot. A police service dog found a woman lying on the ground in a yard a few houses away, and shortly afterward found and detained a man lying on the ground in some woods behind the same property, said Ring.
Apetrea’s entire escape route covered a distance of only 150 metres, during which serious damage was inflicted and the safety of many people were put at risk, he said.
In a joint sentencing proposal drafted with defence counsel Brad Mulder, Ring cited Apetrea’s criminal record, including 121 previous convictions spanning a period of more than 20 years.
Mulder confirmed his client’s guilty plea to charges including assaulting a police officer, dangerous driving, failing to stop at a collision, obstructing or resisting police and possessing proceeds of crime.
Mulder said his client is a heroin addict who was coming down from a high and reacted in panic.
Holmes accepted their sentencing recommendation of two years minus 15 months for time served in pre-trial custody, to be served at the end of his earlier sentence. He also ordered a three-year driving prohibition to start immediately.
Outside the court, Ring said the driving prohibition may not seem to make much sense while Apetrea is in prison, but forms a necessary entry on his criminal record.
Mulder said his client had already been partially and immediately punished for his crimes, having suffered numerous puncture wounds during his encounter with the police service dog.