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RCMP say no reason for public concern after man charged with trying to strike pedestrians with a motor vehicle

RCMP charged Joseph Brian Burk following a Dec. 1 incident in South Branch, Colchester County.
- Contributed

As of Friday morning, the Bay St. George RCMP hadn’t interviewed the two people who allege a man driving a vehicle tried to hit them as they walked along Main Street in Stephenville early Thursday.

But Cpl. John Butler said from his read of the file, the public should not be concerned that it was a case of someone driving down Main Street looking to pick off random people.

Butler said at least one of the people on the street was known to the man driving the car.

The incident occurred at 2 a.m. on Thursday. When police arrived on the scene they found the vehicle in question abandoned, and police dog services was called in to help search for the driver.

The man, a 45-year-old from Stephenville, was located a short time later and charged with assault with a weapon — the vehicle — impaired driving, refusing to provide a breath sample and driving while prohibited.

Butler said whether it was the man’s intent to run someone down or just give them a scare, he did not have to actually hit them to be charged with assault with a weapon.

The man was released from custody and is due to appear in court on Feb. 1.

Police have not identified him because the charges he’s facing have not yet been sworn before the court.

Butler said the driving while prohibited charge stems from a violation of a driving prohibition put in place by a court in Nova Scotia.

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