The man charged over a carjacking near Creston and police chase in Cranbrook last October will have his court case moved to Port Coquitlam.
Nickolas Bullock, 26, appeared in Port Coquitlam Criminal Court on Friday, July 26 and successfully petitioned to have his case, with charges in both Port Coquitlam and Cranbrook, heard in the lower mainland.
Bullock was arrested in Cranbrook on October 2, 2012, after a dramatic pursuit by a police officer ended in a residential driveway. Earlier that night, a Creston man stopped to pick up two hitchhikers between Creston and Yahk. According to the driver, when the pair entered the car, the male hitchhiker allegedly assaulted the driver and stole the vehicle.
RCMP set up a road block south of Cranbrook and an officer spotted the stolen vehicle entering Cranbrook later that evening. The driver did not stop and the RCMP officer pursued the vehicle.
The chase ended in an encounter on the outskirts of Cranbrook, where RCMP said the officer discharged his weapon, injuring the suspect. Bullock was released from hospital within a week.
Bullock was allegedly on the run from Port Coquitlam with his 17-year-old girlfriend. The youth, who cannot be named because she is under 18, was returned to her mother’s care in Port Coquitlam pending proceedings in juvenile court.
On Friday, Cranbrook prosecutor Lynal Doerksen appeared via video to the Port Coquitlam courtroom where Bullock was appearing on 17 charges, including robbery, assault with a weapon, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and flight from a peace officer in Cranbrook.
Bullock engaged in a heated discussion with Judge Deirdre Pothecary over whether his Cranbrook charges should be moved to Port Coquitlam.
Although his lawyer, Coquitlam’s Gary Botting, was in the court room, Bullock asked the judge directly for a publication ban on the Cranbrook charges.
Judge Pothecary said he would not be granted a publication ban because the incident in Cranbrook was significant for this community.
“This is a big deal in a small town. It’s going to hit the papers – that’s life,” she said.
Bullock wants the Cranbrook charges to be dealt with by a Port Coquitlam prosecutor, but the Cranbrook prosecutor insisted that because the case has a high profile in Cranbrook, he should remain as prosecutor.
“The reason I want to remain involved is that the case has some notoriety in the community,” said Doerksen.
He did agree, however, that Bullock’s future appearances could be held in Port Coquitlam, with Doerksen appearing via video from the Cranbrook court room.
Bullock’s lawyer Botting said that Bullock is prepared to plead guilty, however defense and prosecution do not yet agree on the facts about the case.
A sentencing hearing for Bullock is expected to be held in September. Next week in Port Coquitlam, Botting will appear before Judge Pothecary to set a date for that hearing.