Search continues for suspect after officers hit by car in Burnaby

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    Koda with Cpl. Aaron Courtney

    Burnaby: One of two police officers injured in a hit-and-run crash has been released from hospital, but RCMP say the second faces a long recovery.

    Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Mike Kalanj provided an update on the case Tuesday, a day after the men were injured and a search began for the driver who ran them down.

    “I don’t actually have a man or woman for you,” said Kalanj when asked if investigators knew any details about the driver of a Toyota Camry that has been recovered and confirmed stolen.

    Kalanj repeated an appeal for surveillance video from the many businesses in the south Burnaby area where the hit-and-run occurred. Officers also want dashboard camera video from anyone who many have been driving near the scene Monday between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

    “The side and back windows (of the car) are so tinted that at a quick glance, you can’t even see if there’s one or three people in there, man, woman, you can’t tell,” he said. “We are looking for footage that will give us a distinct look in the windshield so we can at least get a photo to send out.”

    The most seriously injured officer is from the RCMP, while the other is from Abbotsford police. Both were training with the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service when they were hit.

    Kalanj would not say where the RCMP officer is based.

    The Abbotsford officer has been identified as Cpl. Aaron Courtney, a 15-year member who has spent the last decade with the dog service unit.

    Courtney was recovering at home Tuesday, Abbotsford police said in a news release.

    “We are relieved that the prognosis for both officers appears to be positive,” the release said. “This incident has shaken the police community, and we are grateful for the public’s overwhelming support.”

    Abbotsford officials confirmed that no service dogs, including Courtney’s dog, Koda, were hurt in the hit and run.

    Kalanj said the Mounties were responding to reports of a possible impaired driver when the late-model Camry entered oncoming traffic.

    It squeezed between a transport truck and parked cars before side-swiping the truck carrying the police dogs and hitting the officers who were standing beside it.

    There was no information to suggest the suspect targeted the officers, police said.

    “This literally could have been someone’s kid, could have been someone’s grandparent,” said Kalanj.

    He urged the driver to come forward.

    “I have great confidence in our investigators and I believe we will find the person responsible. I would just ask you to come forward now.”

    The Canadian Press