July 20th, 2024

Truck thief gets two year sentence for assault


By Herald on November 6, 2021.

By Delon Shurtz

LETHBRIDGE HERALD

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 25-year-old man who stole a pickup truck then assaulted the owner who chased him, has received a federal prison sentence.

Derek Edward Schalk was sentenced to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty this week in Lethbridge provincial court to charges of assault causing bodily harm, threats to cause death or bodily harm, theft of a motor vehicle, and dangerous driving.

Crown Prosecutor Taylor Chartier told court that about 3:50 a.m. on March 14 a resident heard his son’s truck start up and ran outside in time to see it driving away. The man jumped in his own vehicle and chased the fleeing vehicle while his wife called police.

He found the truck on Highway 3 about two kilometres east of Coaldale. where Schalk had become stuck in the mud while trying to cross the median. The man blocked the truck with his vehicle, but Stolk rammed it with the stolen truck.

The man also tried to remove Schalk from his son’s truck, but Schalk struck him multiple times with an unknown object. Schalk also threatened to kill the man, who returned to his vehicle when he saw police lights approaching on the highway.

Schalk was arrested without incident, and the Lethbridge resident, who was covered “from head to toe” with his own blood, was treated at the hospital for several wounds, including cuts to his head that required stitches.

Schalk also pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to disarm a peace officer, resisting a peace officer, assaulting a peace officer with threat of a weapon, and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public. He received a six-month concurrent sentence for those charges, which stem from an incident last month.

On Oct. 16 Schalk’s mother called the Public Safety Communications Centre and said her son was using drugs in violation of his release conditions. While EMS administered Narcan, the woman heard Schalk tell the emergency responders to not touch his drugs.

Police had been advised there were five outstanding warrants against Schalk for assault causing bodily harm, uttering threats, theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving, driving an uninsured vehicle, and driving without a licence. He was also breaching conditions prohibiting him using drugs.

When two officers arrived at his mother’s home, they found Schalk in the garage digging through a bag of drug paraphernalia. Officers told Schalk he was under arrest, and although he was co-operative at first, he became agitated and said he can’t go back to jail.

He reached for the bag of drug paraphernalia and stood up from his chair to run, but one of the officer’s  pushed him back into the chair and attempted to handcuff him. Schalk resisted and managed to grab the officer’s taser, but the other officer wrested it away from him.

Schalk was forced to the ground but he continued to fight the officers and grabbed at random items in the garage to use as weapons. Schalk was finally handcuffed just as another officer arrived to help, and while carrying him out of the garage Schalk attempted to remove an officer’s gun.

Lethbridge lawyer Miranda Hlady told court Schalk suffers from a number of difficulties, which will “hopefully” be addressed through programs provided in prison.

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