Blue Line

Two years for Kamloops man who cannot stop fleeing from police

February 25, 2022  By Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Feb. 24, 2022, Kamloops, B.C. – A Kamloops man who fled from police multiple times over the course of a year has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Cory Battilana, 37, entered guilty pleas in Kamloops provincial court to 13 charges involving flight from police, dangerous operation of a vehicle and breaching driving prohibitions and release orders on four separate occasions between July 2020 and June 2021.

Court heard that on the afternoon of July 3, 2020, Battilana, who is a prohibited driver, fled from police after an officer spotted him in a black Ford Probe in the parking lot of the Aberdeen McDonald’s restaurant.

Battilana drove from the restaurant to a Tim Hortons outlet, where he was met by numerous police vehicles that tried to block him in, but he evaded capture, driving over a curb and coming close to hitting an officer with his vehicle. Court heard the police officer jumped on the hood of another police vehicle to avoid being struck. Battilana sped away via the highway frontage road, but after driving over a police spike belt, he ran from the vehicle, only to be captured hiding beside a nearby tree.

About five months later, on Dec. 12, 2020, Battilana evaded police when an officer attempted to pull him over on Highway 1 near Dallas Drive for speeding. Five weeks after that, on Jan. 20, 2021, police spotted him driving while prohibited near Walmart on Hillside Drive in Southgate.

On the morning of Jan. 22, 2021, Battilana sped past police in Scotch Creek east of Kamloops in a black Volkswagen Jetta. When an officer tried to pull him over, Battilana turned his vehicle around and drove the wrong way down the oncoming lane, nearly striking a parked police vehicle. His vehicle then crashed into a snowbank after it ran over another police spike belt and Battilana took off on foot. He was captured nearby after injuring himself trying to hide on the roof of a house.

On June 2, 2021, Battilana again fled from police in Kamloops, this time in a red Honda Civic. Court heard Battilana waved to an officer, who knew he was a prohibited driver.

When the officer switched on his vehicle’s lights and sirens, Battilana accelerated and drove over a sidewalk, causing a pedestrian to jump out of the way. Hours later, at about 2:30 a.m. the next morning, police caught up with Battilana at a downtown shelter, where he was staying. He fled the shelter, but police tracked him down thanks to the GPS on Battilana’s court-imposed ankle bracelet, finding him hiding on another roof, on Nicola Wagon Road.

Appearing in court via video, Battilana said he is aware his actions were not right, put the public and police in jeopardy and that he must break himself of his “fight or flight” state of mind.

Judge Stella Frame sentenced Battilana to two years and three months in jail for the offences, but less time already served in pre-trial custody, calculated at 1.5 days for every day served. He has 4.5 months left in his sentence.

The 27-month sentence was less than the 32 months sought by Crown prosecutor Alex Janse, but more than the defence’s request that Battilana’s time served in custody be the sentence.

– Kamloops This Week

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