According to Ponoka RCMP, an incident that started with a citizen providing a courtesy ride to a hitchhiker escalated to an assault and resulted in a police dog track and an arrest.
The suspect, Dennis Tyler Rattlesnake, 35, was wanted on a previous arrest warrant out of Maskwacis for aggravated assault at the time of his arrest and is known to police for previous crimes in Wetaskiwin.
Rattlesnake is now facing charges of unlawful confinement, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
On Dec. 17 at 6:47 p.m., Ponoka RCMP responded to a report of a male at a rural property requesting help. RCMP attended and determined that the male was the victim of an assault.
The male alleged that he gave a ride to a male hitchhiker who produced a knife and bear spray. The male driver purposefully drove his truck into a ditch and while trying to flee, was again assaulted with a knife.
The victim managed to get away and sought help at a rural residence.
Ponoka RCMP and Integrated Traffic Unit members set up containment in the area. Police Dog Services was engaged to search for the suspect male.
With tips from home owners and following a successful track by the police dog, the suspect was located and taken into custody. He suffered a minor injury during his interaction with the police dog.
The male victim of this offence was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released.
Following Rattlesnake’s judicial interim release hearing, he was remanded in custody. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2021.
“This is the second violent incident in the same number of days, where public assistance has been instrumental in our capture of the suspect,” said Sgt. Erin St-Cyr of the Ponoka RCMP.
A female victim was robbed and assaulted by three males in a parking lot in Ponoka on Dec. 17.
“The Ponoka RCMP remains undaunted in our efforts to pursue and apprehend criminals whose acts put the safety of the community members at risk,” said St-Cyr.
– With a file from RCMP Alberta Media Relations