Courtenay man charged after shot fired at BC SPCA officer during animal welfare check

A Vancouver Island man has been charged with four offences after RCMP say shots were fired during a B.C. SPCA officer’s visit to a Comox Valley-area property.

Uwe Manfred Froeschle, 55, is accused of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, assault with a weapon, careless use of a firearm, and pointing a firearm in connection with the incident that locked down a Courtenay neighbourhood for several hours on Thursday afternoon.

Comox Valley RCMP were called to a home on Pickering Road off the North Island Highway around 1 p.m., after receiving a report that someone had fired a rifle in the direction of an SPCA officer.

Read more:
55-year-old man arrested after shot fired at SPCA officer in Courtenay: RCMP

B.C. SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk said the officer was at the property on a scheduled visit “to check on the welfare of some animals” that had been the subject of a complaint.

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A massive police response ensued with RCMP sending in a helicopter, heavily armed tactical officers, the Emergency Response Team and crisis negotiators, who “worked with the occupants for several hours to come outside before making entry into the residence,” said Const. Monika Terragni.

Click to play video: 'Video captures arrest of suspects on Highway 97'

Video captures arrest of suspects on Highway 97

Video captures arrest of suspects on Highway 97 – Mar 2, 2021

After an hours-long standoff, Froeschle was arrested. Police said the SPCA officer was unhurt but according to the B.C. SPCA, she was shaken by the incident and is receiving follow-up support.

Froeschle remains in custody pending a court appearance in Nanaimo on March 29.

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