James Burton Weaver (court drawing by Felicity Don below) is on trial for driving his Ford Explorer into parked police police cars and injuring two RCMP officers in Surrey on Jan. 27

Man admits ramming police cars, injuring Surrey officers in January

At issue is James Weaver's mental state and whether he intentionally committed the crime.

Surrey RCMP Const. Joseph Lau was having a late lunch at the Newton detachment when he heard the loud bang. He initially didn’t give it much thought as there was a garbage dumpster nearby that often made crashing sounds when it was emptied.

Seconds later, however, a fellow police officer’s distressed voice came over his radio, saying he needed immediate assistance.

Lau ran out of the building into the parking lot, where he saw smoke and a green Ford Explorer crashed into the side of a police cruiser, which had been pushed into a second police car.

Lau was one of several witnesses who testified Tuesday at the trial of James Burton Weaver, who’s accused of ramming into police cars in the parking lot near 72 Avenue and 137 Street in the afternoon of Jan. 27 of this year, injuring two RCMP officers.

A female officer was inside the struck cruiser, while a male officer was on foot and pinned between two police vehicles.

Weaver, 47, faces two counts each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

Lau said he saw a colleague trying, unsuccessfully, to get a female officer out of one of the police cruisers. But the car was pinned between two others leaving little room to open the door.

Lau saw that the officer in the car was agitated, crying and in a “state of panic,” he told the Surrey Provincial Court judge.

He got into the car, he testified, and concentrated on calming her down and securing her neck. Lau said it was then the female officer told him the driver of the Explorer “tried to kill me.”

Weaver does not deny the incident, and in a statement agreed upon by Crown prosecutor Winston Sayson and defence David Albert, admits he drove his SUV into a parked police cruiser that day, not only damaging two cars, but injuring two RCMP members.

The issue before the court, said Sayson, is whether Weaver had the mental capacity to intentionally commit the offence.

Weaver was uninjured in the crash. At the time, his girlfriend told the media Weaver had recently gone off medication he took for depression.

Dark haired with a goatee and wearing an orange prison-issue shirt and pants, Weaver listened to the testimony from the glass prisoner’s box.

Civilian Adam Clark said before he went into Save On Foods for work on the day of the crash, he saw a dark-coloured Explorer circle the parking lot at least twice. Then he heard an engine revving and looked up to see an SUV hit a police car.

Joseph Szunyik was picking his wife up from work at about the same time when he saw a truck speeding through the Newton parking lot.

“I was amazed at how fast he was going,” said Szunyik, who said he saw the truck fly over a speed bump before he heard a crash.

Const. Lau said he helped transport Weaver to the main RCMP detachment following his arrest. When asked by Sayson, Lau said though quiet, Weaver was cooperative, able to answer basic questions, was walking normally and could dress himself.

The trial is scheduled for five days.

Just Posted

Team BC defeats its hosts at junior curling nationals Sunday

Tyler Tardi and his team have played and won three games in the Canadian championships, so far.

UPDATE: Olympic softball qualifier to be held in Surrey

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

Surrey resident to speak about erasing Alzheimer’s disease stigma

A goal of Dona McMorland is to erase stigma attached to the disease

Vehicle rollover in Surrey

Surrey Fire Service responded to the collision on the 19500-block of 60 Avenue

VIDEO: Three-peat for Semiahmoo at basketball’s Surrey RCMP Classic

South Surrey-based squad tops Lord Tweedsmuir in final at Enver Creek gym

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read