April 22nd, 2024

Flight from police lands man in jail

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 6, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

It wasn’t exactly a high-speed chase, or even a slow one, but a Lethbridge man still refused to stop his vehicle for police, which earned him a brief stint behind bars.

Dillon Allen Houghton pleaded guilty earlier this year in Lethbridge court of justice to a single charge of flight from police and was sentenced to three months in jail.

At about midnight on Feb. 24, 2022 police were patrolling in the area of 6 Street and 6 Avenue South when they noticed a grey pickup truck turn onto 5 Street without signalling. The vehicle proceeded to drive down the middle of the road but police caught up to it at a stoplight and activated the vehicle’s emergency lights.

The truck continued driving, however, and refused to stop even after the officer turned on his siren. Houghton, 31, flipped his middle finger at the officer and continued driving. While at another stoplight, the officer got out of his vehicle and approached the truck, but it drove away again.

“At this point the officer believed it was clear that the driver knew he was being asked to stop, and was fleeing the scene from police, although not at a particularly high rate of speed,” Crown Prosecutor Bob Morrison told court.

The officer turned off his emergency lights and did not pursue the truck, but he still drove around looking for the vehicle. He found it on Mayor Magrath Drive and watched it drive through a red light at 5 Avenue North.

A few minutes later another officer saw the truck parked at a service station on 23 Street North and as Houghton exited the store and headed toward his vehicle, he was arrested.

“Addictions have been the primary cause of his legal issues,” Lethbridge lawyer Miranda Hlady explained. “He started drinking at age 16 and then he started experimenting with other drugs.”

Hlady said Houghton has been consuming methamphetamine and fentanyl for the past year, and he had a major overdose in July 2020 which put in intensive care for 10 days.

He has, however, been working on regaining his health and sobriety, Hlady added.

In addition to his 90-day sentence, for which he was given credit for 51 days spent in pre-disposition custody, Houghton is also prohibited from driving for a year. Additional charges of driving without insurance and dangerous driving were withdrawn.

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