No animal abuse in alleged dangerous driving incident: RCMP

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A 20-year-old Olds man has been arrested and charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle in connection with a Jan. 14 incident in which a truck drove around town with what looked like a small animal hanging from the rear bumper.

Some witnesses believed that small animal was a cat, but RCMP would not confirm that.

“It’s not something that we’re going to release because it doesn’t form part of the charge,” RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Sharon Franks said Tuesday.

She stressed that “no animal abuse took place,” a point RCMP made in bold type in a news release on the matter.

Wyatt Sawchuk has been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle in connection with the incident.

He is scheduled to appear Feb. 8 in Didsbury provincial court on that charge.

Meanwhile, Sawchuk has been released from custody pending that court appearance.

Police did not say how Sawchuk was driving in what is alleged to have been a dangerous way.

“I’m not exactly sure what it was that he was doing, and I guess it would be a matter for the court to decide whether that should be something in the public realm, but he hasn’t been convicted of anything,” Franks said.

“Originally, that was what the original call came in as – something being operated in a dangerous manner,” she added. “I guess they were able to determine and gather some sort of evidence for that fashion and subsequently he’s been charged with that.”

RCMP say witnesses helped them apprehend the suspect.

The matter was discussed on social media.

“I take it from speaking with the detachment commander that it was really the assistance of the public that assisted us in terms of solving this and finding the driver of the vehicle,” Franks said.

The news release makes that point too.

“Olds RCMP would like to thank the public and those who came forward with crucial information that led to the arrest and subsequent charge in this matter,” it says.

dcollie@olds.greatwest.ca

“It’s not something that we’re going to release because it doesn’t form part of the charge.”RCMP SPOKESPERSON CPL. SHARON FRANKSwhen asked if the thing attached to the rear bumper of the truck was a cat

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.