The Regina Police Service Aerial Support Unit (ASU) has a multi-faceted role when it comes to community safety. ASU assists on investigations that are criminal in nature, but also plays an important role in assisting vulnerable persons in times of need.
This weekend, in the early morning hours of Saturday, August 26, 2023, police received a call reporting a person who was intoxicated and incapacitated somewhere in Wascana Park. The caller was concerned about the person’s safety. Members of the Aerial Support Unit used thermal imaging on their camera to locate the person within several minutes. They then directed Patrol officers to the person, who was on the ground under a tree. The individual was intoxicated and extremely cold. Patrol officers assisted the person in getting home safety.
In these circumstances, the ASU aircraft and officers on board respond directly to calls for service reported to our Communications Centre. Other times, ASU will alert the Communications Centre and police officers on the ground to activity they are observing from the air.
A short time later on Saturday, August 26, at approximately 2:20 a.m., members of ASU observed a suspicious vehicle driving in the Washington Park neighbourhood. That information was relayed to Patrol officers on the ground who initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle in the area of 2nd Avenue and Elphinstone Street. The vehicle did not stop for police and drove away at a high rate of speed. Patrol officers did not follow the vehicle. From the air, the Aerial Support Unit observed the vehicle driving erratically, reaching speeds exceeding 100 km/h in a residential area before it collided with a tree in a yard on the 1300 block of Princess Street. The driver fled on foot from the vehicle; ASU was able to follow him and direct members of the RPS Canine Unit to his location in the 1300 block of Queen Street. The male was taken into police custody without incident. Investigation revealed that the vehicle had been stolen. As a result:
Eighteen year-old Nicholas Christopher NETOWAYASIN, of Regina, has been charged with:
- Operate Conveyance Dangerous To Public [CC 320.13];
- Flight From Peace Officer [CC 320.17];
- Impaired Operation Of Conveyance By Alcohol, Drug, or Combination [CC 320.14 (1)(A)];
- Exceeds 80 MG of Alcohol [CC 320.14 (1)(B)];
- Fail To Comply With Condition of an Undertaking [CC 145 (4)(A)];
- Theft of Motor Vehicle [CC 333.1(1)];
- Failure To Stop After Accident [CC 320.16];
- Possession of Property Obtained By Crime Over $5000 [CC 355 (A)].
NETOWAYASIN made his first appearance on these charges in Provincial Court this morning (Monday, August 28, 2023) at 9:30 a.m.