By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 22, 2023.
A bicycle isn’t the greatest get-away vehicle, and while it provided a short-term solution for Adam Richard Filipcic when he was being chased by police, he was ultimately caught and charged with resisting a peace officer and drug possession.
At about 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 of this year police were driving along 21 Street in Coaldale and saw Filipcic, 34, riding a bike. Knowing Filipcic had numerous outstanding warrants for his arrest, the officer pulled up alongside him, activated his emergency lights, told him to stop and said he was under arrest.
Instead of stopping, Filipcic took off through an alley with the officer in pursuit. The officer continued to chase Filipcic on foot when he rode into a park then onto a path at the golf course, and eventually went into his mother’s house on Fairway Drive.
Officers later entered the home and after a search and lots of coaxing to come out, they found him hiding in the attic under some insulation. When he was arrested and searched, police found a small amount of fentanyl.
Filipcic pleaded guilty Tuesday in Lethbridge court of justice to the two charges of resisting a peace officer and drug possession, and was sentenced to 60 days and 30 days in jail, respectively, to run concurrent to each other. Filipcic also pleaded guilty to one charge of driving without insurance, and was fined $3,000 (no time to pay, 45 days of custody in default), to run concurrently with the other two sentences.
With credit of 26 days Filipcic already spent in custody, he only has 34 more days to serve.
Filipcic was issued the ticket for not having insurance on Dec. 11 of last year after police were notified by a resident who saw Filipcic near a vehicle behind her house. She saw Filipcic walk out of the alley with a wallet, which he appeared to intentionally drop on the ground.
“She thought it was a bit unusual and so she called police,” said Crown Prosecutor Bob Morrison.
Police checked out the vehicle and talked to another witness who had earlier seen Filipcic driving it and who had taken pictures because he suspected the driver may have stolen some property.
“That wasn’t proven in any way,” Morrison added.
Police, who believed the vehicle may have been abandoned, searched it after noticing a handgun inside. They were unable to find any insurance or other documents related to the vehicle, and the handgun turned out to be a pellet gun.
Lethbridge lawyer Marcus Mueller pointed out the vehicle was actually parked on the street “like any other car” and was not abandoned. He also took issue with the police search of the vehicle based on only the assumption that the person who dropped the wallet was associated with the car. Mueller said the police only laid charges under the Traffic Safety Act because anything more serious could lead to a Charter breach.
Mueller also took exception to the Crown’s description of events leading up to Filipcic’s arrest at the Coaldale home, and said police did more than just try to “coax” Filipcic from the house where he was hiding.
“They eventually narrowed it down to the attic, as far as where he’d be, and what he was told was, ‘come down or we’ll send up the dog.’ “
Follow @DShurtzHerald on Twitter