—— By Tim Petruk/Castanet

Serious charges have been laid against a prolific offender accused of intentionally crashing a pickup truck into an RCMP cruiser in Merritt.

Merritt Mounties were called to a report of a vehicle theft in progress at about 4 a.m. on May 1 outside the Quality Inn on Walters Street, a judge was told Monday during a bail hearing in Kamloops provincial court.

The suspect fled in a black pickup, which police located and stopped a short time later. Crown prosecutor Alexandra Janse said the truck was blocked in by RCMP vehicles.

“[The driver] backed up, put the car in drive and drove into a police vehicle, trying to push it out of the way,” she said.

“When that didn’t work, he put the truck back in reverse and backed directly into an unoccupied truck parked in a driveway.”

Janse said Mounties then pinned the pickup and the driver fled on foot.

“After a short foot pursuit, he stopped running and turned around with a long, sharp object in his hand,” she said. “When confronted with a police service pistol, he threw the weapon away and started complying.”

Bryce Timothy Inglehart, 30, is facing charges of flight from police, possession of a stolen vehicle, driving while prohibited, obstructing police and mischief by wilfully colliding with an RCMP vehicle. He is also facing multiple breach charges, including one for possessing a screwdriver — the weapon he is alleged to have brandished — in violation of a bail condition.

Court heard Inglehart has been identified as a prolific offender by Vernon Mounties. Janse said he has 14 prior property-related convictions and two flight from police convictions, as well as more than a dozen for failure to comply with court orders.

Inglehart was denied bail following Monday’s hearing. He is due back in court on May 21.