POLITICS

Flare gun fired outside courthouse at Saskatchewan RCMP, man charged

07/31/2012 04:27 EDT | Updated 09/30/2012 05:12 EDT
LLOYDMINSTER, Sask. - A man accused of firing a flare gun, a pellet pistol and throwing an axe at RCMP outside a courthouse was arrested without injury after Mounties decided not to fire back.

No one was hurt in the bizarre incident that began Monday morning when a man who was to appear in court on charges confronted officers.

"This particular individual is facing some serious charges as a result of an F-Division Saskatchewan investigation, a child pornography investigation, and as a result of that wanted to commit suicide," Cpl. Shane Hartwell told Newcap Broadcasting.

RCMP said their officers showed great restraint in not shooting the man.

As Mounties cleared people from the courthouse and the surrounding area, the man drove off in a car, pursued at a distance by officers.

Police said when he returned to the courthouse he was arrested without incident.

Hartwell said at one point in the confrontation when it became apparent that police weren't going to fire back, the man reached inside a bag filled with ammunition and threw it down an alley toward the officers.

"You know what is absolutely amazing is that the police officers involved quickly recognized that it was a pellet-type gun and it wasn't an actual loaded handgun," Hartwell said. "As a result we were very fortunate this individual was not shot."

Doug Hatcher, 54, was charged Tuesday with assaulting police with a weapon, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public, discharging a firearm with intent and other charges.

He is to appear in North Battleford provincial court Thursday.

(Newcap Broadcasting)