Manhunt ends with suspect’s arrest

The man police have linked to a violent attack and arson fire Wednesday morning in Langley was arrested Thursday morning near Fernie.

Andre Harvey Richard was arrested after a report of an erratic or possibly impaired driver near the southeastern B.C. community.

The person who called in the complaint followed the suspicious vehicle until it came to a stop. 

A man later identified as Richard then left the vehicle and headed into the roadside bush.

The local RCMP in the area brought in a crisis negotiator, and after some time Richard was arrested without further incident, said Cpl. Holly Marks, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.

Langley RCMP Serious Crime officers are now heading for Cranbrook to continue their investigation into the events that began at 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

Police and firefighters in Langley Township were called to an incident in the 19600 block of Wakefield Drive Wednesday morning.

Marks said a man broke into the home, set the house on fire, and then attacked the woman. The woman’s daughter tried to intervene and she was struck in the chest with the same weapon.

The woman, her daughter and her son all managed to escape the house before it was gutted by the fire.

Police announced that they believed the attacker to have been the woman’s estranged husband. By the late afternoon, an arrest warrant for Richard had been issued for breaching a no contact order that banned him from being in the presence of his wife.

The two were separated and described as estranged by police, who said they were aware of domestic violence incidents.

In the aftermath of the fire, it was uncertain for some hours whether Richard had actually fled the burning home, or if he had died in the fire. Police had begun searching for him already under the assumption he was still alive. Alerts were issued for his vehicle and his photo was released to the press.

Formal charges against Richard are expected within the next 24 hours.

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