West Kelowna  

Prolific Okanagan offender pleads guilty for flights from police

Guilty in Wal-Mart mayhem

An Okanagan man pleaded guilty Friday to a slew of charges, stemming from a crime spree last spring that saw him evade police for several days.

Dayton McAlpine's crime spree came to a head in West Kelowna's Wal-Mart parking lot on the afternoon of June 1, 2019, when an employee of the store recognized him as being wanted on a province-wide warrant.

Police arrived at the store off Louie Drive and located McAlpine in a green Ford F-150. When they attempted to arrest the man, he tried to escape, ramming two police vehicles, pushing one into a bystander's SUV that had two children inside at the time.

Police said at one point, McAlpine drove towards an officer who had gotten out of his vehicle.

“Fearing that their partner could suffer serious injury or even death, a second officer discharged his firearm,” Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said at the time. “The round is believed to have struck the driver side area of the Ford pickup truck.”

No one was hurt in the frightening incident, and McAlpine was able to escape. He was later spotted that same day on Westside Road, but police didn't end up catching him until June 11, when he was found outside a home on Douglas Road. He's remained in custody ever since, after he was denied bail in August.

On Friday, McAlpine pleaded guilty to 11 charges, stemming from incidents beginning in March 2019 and continuing through until his arrest.

He pleaded guilty to the dangerous operation of a vehicle and driving while prohibited on May 22 and flight from police and driving while prohibited on May 25. For the June 1 Wal-Mart incident, he pleaded guilty to flight from police, dangerous operation of a vehicle and driving while prohibited, along with additional charges of dangerous operation of a vehicle and driving while prohibited on June 9, when he was again spotted by police.

While most of the charges are driving related, he also pleaded guilty to the theft of a router in West Kelowna on March 10, and a break and enter of a trailer in Falkland on June 2.

McAlpine, a prolific offender with 61 prior convictions, was on probation during all of last year's offences.

During his bail hearing, McAlpine said his criminal lifestyle is a product of his addiction to crystal meth and heroin, and he's committed to recovery.

“When I get sober, I do positive things with my life,” he told the court back in August. “I feel if I can address this issue, I won't be back before you.”

McAlpine will be back before the court in April to schedule a sentencing date, after a presentence report, with a psychological assessment, is completed.

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