Police dog Grinder was back on patrol soon after a fleeing suspect is alleged to have attempted to drown him in the Vedder River in summer 2018. (RCMP)

Police dog Grinder was back on patrol soon after a fleeing suspect is alleged to have attempted to drown him in the Vedder River in summer 2018. (RCMP)

One of two Chilliwack men on trial for crime spree accused of attempting to drown police dog

Court hears how Jonathan Olson allegedly pushed Grinder’s head under water after fleeing police

A three-week trial began this week for two men allegedly involved in a violent crime spree involving kidnapping, discharging of a firearm, all culminating in an alleged attempted drowning of an RCMP police dog.

Jonathon David Olson and another man, Brodie Tyrel Robinson, each face numerous charges connected to the incident one year ago.

Both are charged with assault with a weapon, kidnapping, using imitation firearm to commit an indictable offence, intentionally discharging a firearm while reckless and two other firearm charges.

Olson is also charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000 and wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer.

He originally faced the rare charge of attempting to kill or maim a law enforcement animal, but that is no longer on the file.

• READ MORE: Violent crime spree ends in Chilliwack arrest

On June 27, a member of the Lower Mainland Integrated Dog Service (PDS) was on the witness stand on day four of the trial that is expected to last at least three weeks.

The officer explained what led up to the alleged attempted drowning of Grinder the police dog. Grinder was tracking a suspect in dense brush on the east side of the Vedder Canal on July 1, 2018.

The officer said Grinder was tracking parallel to the canal, when suddenly he indicated the suspect was going towards the water. Police dog handlers have a long lead, so even while Grinder had jumped in to the canal, his handler’s view was still blocked by the bushes.

When he did see the dog, it was swimming towards the suspect who was paddling backwards facing the shore.

“I believe Grinder made contact in that he tried to bite him,” the officer said. “Then I saw the hand of the suspect go over top of Grinder and then he disappeared into the water. I screamed at Grinder to come back. I screamed stop. At that point I jumped into the water as I was concerned … that Grinder was going to drown.”

The water right at the shore line is deep, so the officer went right under, when he came back up Grinder was swimming back to shore. Olson was later tracked down and arrested.

The incident with the dog was the culmination of an ongoing series of alleged crimes involving Olson and Robinson.

First up on the witness stand on Monday was RCMP Cpl. Darryl Anderson who testified as an expert witness regarding information retrieved from several cellphones.

One of the first pieces of evidence presented in court was video footage from the Husky gas station on Lickman Road. In some of the clips, Olson, who is very distinct looking with neck and facial tattoos, is clearly visible on camera. He is allegedly with Robinson, and clothing, and sunglasses the two men wore in the video was presented in court as evidence as it was seized from the two after arrest.

In the video, there is also a third man, Dane Miller, who is the complainant in the kidnapping case. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the alleged incident, which triggered the police investigation.

But it was a day after the alleged shooting that RCMP responded to a report of a stolen pickup near Yale and Dyke Crest roads.

That was where a 26-year-old woman was taken into custody, and the 38-year-old Olson allegedly ran away, eventually tracked by Grinder. The woman was later released from custody.

Loaded firearms and ammunition were seized by officers during their search of the pickup truck, and Olson was linked to the Lickman Road shooting.

Both Robinson and Olson wore prison-issue red clothing in the prisoner’s box this week during the trial. The two exchanged words frequently, and often wrote notes to be handed to their lawyers, David Ferguson and Tony Lagemaat.

Olson is well-known to police, once convicted of a home invasion involving a firearm at a wrong address.

• READ MORE: Botched Chilliwack home invasion changed lives – August 2016

He and fellow accused Trevor Egilson were acquitted of torturing and beating up a cocaine-addicted man in September 2014 after the victim proved too unreliable on the stand.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack judge finds witness testimony in torture case leads to reasonable doubt

The trial that began this week is expected to last at least two more weeks.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vedder Park area where alcohol consumption was part of a pilot project in 2020. (City of Chilliwack)
Hundreds weighed in with opinions on alcohol consumption in Chilliwack parks

Pilot project in two Chilliwack parks last summer saw responsible drinking in designated areas

Russell Jonathon George Gurney was last seen in Chilliwack in mid-December. (RCMP photo)
RCMP ask for help to find missing Abbotsford man last seen in Chilliwack

Police and family are concerned for the well-being of Russell Jonathon George Gurney

In this photo illustration, a provincial election mail-in ballot sealed in an Elections B.C. return envelope is seen before being deposited in a Canada Post mailbox, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. For the Chilliwack school board byelection being held Feb. 13, 2020, mail ballots will now be a part of the process. (The Canadian Press/ Darryl Dyck)
Mail ballots approved for Chilliwack school board byelection

Applications to vote by mail need to be submitted to city by Jan. 28

Leonard Hodgins released his seven-song EP, A Date, with Disaster, on Jan. 4, 2021. (Submitted)
‘Silver lining’ to pandemic as Chilliwack musician finds inspiration, releases new album

Leonard Hodgins released his EP ‘A Date, with Disaster’ at the beginning of 2021

Preliminary artist rendering by Karvin Developments for three-lot subdivision on Berkeley Avenue. (City of Chilliwack/Karvin)
Subdivision proposal for three new homes on Berkeley Avenue goes through

Developer agrees to two-storey height limit on homes proposed for large lot over slough

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
Snow forecasted for parts of Lower Mainland this weekend

Environment Canada is predicting flurries and snow from Saturday to Monday evening

Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Most Read