A man who police say led them on a high-speed chase in western Newfoundland is now facing four charges, after Tuesday’s arrest outside a Deer Lake electoral candidate’s office.
George Brake, 66, of Shoal Brook was charged Wednesday with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, dangerous operation of a vehicle and flight from a police officer.
The campaign team for Liberal Leader Andrew Furey said Tuesday evening that police suspected Furey was the intended target of the man, who reportedly said he was on his way to “stop the election.”
The RCMP said Wednesday that the man was, in fact, arrested near a PC candidate’s office, and that police had “serious concerns for public safety, including the safety of the sitting MHA for the area and political candidates.” Furey is the sitting MHA for the area, who is running in the Humber-Gros Morne district.
Police seized 36 hunting and tactical knives from Brake’s truck, according to information provided by the RCMP at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
One of those was allegedly wedged next to the driver’s seat.
Police don’t believe there are other threats to politicians now that George Brake is in custody. These are the knives he had. <a href=”https://t.co/0HPOz3WQ1s”>pic.twitter.com/0HPOz3WQ1s</a>
The RCMP said around 10 a.m. Tuesday they received reports of a man “behaving erratically” in Bonne Bay, making political references and alluding to the use of firearms.
The force said its officers chased the man’s truck to Deer Lake for about 10 minutes, before arresting him outside a candidate’s office. Police said he was arrested within 30 minutes after a concerned resident made the initial complaint.
The campaign office for the PC Party told CBC News on Tuesday evening that police told them there was no intended target.
A police spokesperson said Wednesday that the force believes Brake was a “threat to cause death or serious injury,” and that in the presence of police he “threatened to execute local politicians.”
The RCMP says they believe there are no threats to other politicians. The force has shared information with the Department of Justice and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, “as its mandate includes protection of those elected to public office.”
Brake will remain custody until at least a bail hearing, scheduled for Thursday.