Smoky Lake, Alberta – The RCMP have one male in custody following a 90 minute incident that saw a bus diverted in Edmonton and ultimately stopped near Waskatenau, Alta.
At 12:25 a.m., a 911 call was received by the RCMP via Edmonton Police Service that a bus driver was threatened by a male brandishing a broken beer bottle. The male subject was not allowing the driver to stop the bus as scheduled. The bus departed from Fort McMurray and was destined for Edmonton. The suspect male directed the driver to change routes near the city of Edmonton and went north on 97 Street towards Gibbons. Morinville RCMP located the bus on Highway 28 and several patrol units became engaged. Fort Saskatchewan and Redwater RCMP were alerted and responded. The bus traveled on Highway 28 then turned on Highway 831 towards Bruderheim.
The bus was being driven in a manner that no other traffic on the highways was in danger.
The RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT) was activated and a crisis negotiator with ERT made contact via telephone with the suspect. As a result of successful negotiation between the ERT member and the suspect he agreed to get off the bus. At approximately 1:50 a.m., the bus pulled over in Smoky Lake RCMP’s jurisdiction. RCMP members on scene took the male into custody immediately, without incident.
The bus was redirected to Fort Saskatchewan RCMP detachment where resources were in place to take statements and conduct interviews with the bus driver and nine adult passengers. Victim Services Unit was available to assist if required.
Neither the driver nor the passengers were injured during this incident.
“The safety of the passengers was the primary concern of the bus driver” says Sergeant Shayne Courtorielle, Acting Detachment Commander of the Morinville RCMP. “The driver needs to be commended for his ability to remain calm. His actions contributed to the safe outcome of this incident.”
The 35-year-old male is in police custody at Morinville RCMP Detachment and the investigation continues with charges pending.
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