Man pleads guilty to attempted shooting of New West cop

An Edmonton man will face sentencing next month after he pleaded guilty to, among other things, attempting to shoot a New Westminster police officer in May 2015.

Steven Vollrath entered guilty pleas to several charges in a hearing earlier this month, according to court records. Vollrath pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer with a weapon, using an imitation firearm to commit an offence, assault with a weapon, fraudulent personation to obstruct justice, dangerous driving, flight from police and failing to remain at the scene of a crash.

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It’s not immediately clear why Vollrath entered guilty pleas, as the matter was expected to go to trial. But the Edmonton man failed in an August bid to have some evidence against him thrown out as unconstitutional.

The guilty pleas come four-and-a-half years after police attended a New West parkade for reports of a couple sleeping in a car. An officer asked Vollrath for his licence and registration for the vehicle, a rental car from Alberta.

When the officer heard over the radio that the rental company wanted the vehicle towed, as it was overdue, Vollrath pulled out a gun and tried to shoot the officer, though the gun didn’t fire. He then fled the scene in the car.

Vollrath evaded police in the ensuing pursuit, and the vehicle was later found in Vancouver.

Days later, however, a Chevrolet Impala was pulled over in Canmore, Alta. for a traffic violation, and Vollrath, who was in the front passenger seat, was arrested at that scene. The New West Police Department obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and found a handgun inside a stuffed teddy bear under the front passenger seat.

In the August hearing, Vollrath tried to have the charges stayed due to charter violations, including that the original stop was conducted on private property rather than on the public roads. He also argued that the Impala driver’s rights were violated.

However, the justice overseeing the hearing declined to waive any of the evidence against Vollrath.

Vollrath is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on Dec. 2 and 3.

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