A man from Delta is facing charges after smashing his vehicle into a police cruiser in order to evade police.

At about 2:30 in the morning on March 29, an RCMP officer driving on the Coquihalla Highway observed an SUV fitting the description of a stolen vehicle believed to have been involved in crimes in Kelowna and Kamloops, said RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore.

The officer radioed other members in town when the vehicle exited off the highway into Merritt, and police tracked it down at the 7-Eleven parking lot on Nicola Avenue.

Dunsmore said the suspect saw the police vehicles with their emergency lights on, evaded the officers and took off towards Vancouver.

“When [police] attempted to box the vehicle in, the vehicle smashed into one of the police vehicles and took off,” said Dunsmore.

She said police chose not to pursue the vehicle as it was not safe to do so.

“There were already several pedestrians [in the parking lot] that were almost hit and when we believe that somebody may be at risk because of our pursuit then we have to stand down,” said Dunsmore.

No officers or pedestrians were hurt in the incident, said Dunmore.

The vehicle was spotted a few hours later at a Mr. Lube in Langley where police arrested 24-year-old Shane Rosteski from Delta.

Dunsmore said Merritt police obtained the vehicle’s license plate number as well as security footage from the 7-Eleven, which helped identify the vehicle and its driver in the Lower Mainland.

Merritt RCMP have submitted a report to Crown recommending charges of flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and assault with a weapon — the weapon being the car he was driving.

Rosteski is expected to be in court in Kamloops today (April 11).