A prohibited driver who frequently flees Chilliwack RCMP, often with children in his vehicle, is now behind bars facing serious jail time.
Three times in November and December last year, Ryan Alfred Winczura took off in his SUV when officers tried to pull over the 35-year-old who has an extensive and unenviable criminal driving history.
Winczura remains in custody unable to perfect a $50,000 surety bail. He appeared in provincial court April 7 pleading guilty to various charges related to four different incidents in 2016.
Crown is asking for a 10-month jail sentence and a three-year driving prohibition. Winczura’s counsel Justin Myers suggested a 30-to-60-day intermittent sentence was suitable.
His 2016 troubles began June 15 when Const. Michael Sabulsky spotted Winczura in a 2010 Land Rover.
“He immediately recognized him from numerous prohibitions,” Crown counsel Rebecca Beeny told the court.
Sabulsky tried to pull Winczura over but the 35-year-old fled, hitting 135 kilometres an hour on Prest Road, occasionally going into oncoming lanes and passing a semi at Prest and First Avenue.
It was clear to Sabulsky Winczura wasn’t going to stop so, as per RCMP policy, he slowed down and ended the chase to limit the danger to the public. The officer then attended Winczura’s residence, not finding the vehicle at the front but seeing it on an incline behind his house adjacent to the Meadowlands Golf Course parking lot.
A witness who had been on the golf course told police they saw a man exit the vehicle “with a screaming child in hand.”
On another incident on Nov. 4, 2016 the 35-year-old was driving his SUV and was spotted by a Mountie who recognized him. The RCMP member and Winczura actually passed each other in the Menzies and Portage area in opposite directions with windows down, and the officer said, “Ryan, Ryan, pull over.”
Winczura responded that “he needed to drop his little guy at school.”
“‘You are fleeing,’” Beeny quoted the officer’s saying.
“‘No I’m not,’” Winczura responded, before taking off. The Mountie clocked him hitting 102 kilometres an hour near Little Mountain elementary.
He apparently dropped his child off at a different nearby school, returned home where he was arrested and his vehicle impounded.
Then on Nov. 29, a different officer spotted Winczura in a GMC Yukon. He followed him but Winczura again fled, made various evasive moves and U-turns, and eventually was blocked in by two City of Chilliwack employees. At that point, the court heard that a young girl got out and was screaming at police. Winczura got out and began yelling at the girl. He then resisted arrest and a second younger child was found inside the SUV.
Then on Dec. 27, he did it again. A third officer spotted him on Highway 1 where he was clocked at 155 kilometres per hour before exiting on Vedder heading south.
It was again clear he wasn’t going to stop so a pursuit was called off, but the officer drove to Winczura’s home, pulled over a few doors down and waited. Not long after, Winczura drove in, and when approached, he slid out of the passenger door with a seven-year-old girl and ran into the house.
Crown counsel Anna Tosso told the court the officer managed to get his foot in the door, but Winczura still wasn’t giving up.
“He slammed the door on his foot multiple times,” Tosso said.
After a stand-off he was finally arrested.
Upon hearing the circumstances before him, Judge Richard Browning asked why a pre-sentence report (PSR) had not been ordered given the pattern of behaviour before him.
Neither Crown nor defence asked for a PSR with Winczura’s lawyer suggesting the four to six weeks to prepare one was longer than he was asking for a sentence. Browning suggested, without prejudicing his decision on sentence, that with “the number of offences and the extreme driving history,” six more weeks in custody shouldn’t be a problem.
Browning ordered the PSR and Winczura is next due in court April 27 to determine when it would be ready.