Kidnapper caught near Vanderhoof convicted in P.G.

It started near Fraser Lake in August 2007 but it ended Friday in a Prince George courtroom.

Allan Wishart

Free Press

It started near Fraser Lake in August 2007 but it ended Friday in a Prince George courtroom.

Richard Dean Zagwyn was found guilty of six charges and sentenced to an indeterminate jail sentence as a dangerous offender.

Zagwyn had been facing 23 charges, but 17 of them were stayed.

He was found guilty of kidnapping, failing to stop a motor vehicle when ordered to do so, two counts of break and enter and two counts of discharging a firearm with intent.

The case began on Monday, Aug. 20, 2007 on Stella Road, near Fraser Lake, when RCMP attempted to pull a vehicle over. The vehicle refused to stop, fled the scene, and was later found in a ditch in the area.

The driver was seen exiting the vehicle and running into nearby woods. As RCMP approached, shots were fired in their direction.

The area was then cordoned off, and assistance from other detachments was called in, including the emergency response team from Prince George and a helicopter.

By the following day, a second emergency response team from the Lower Mainland had joined the search as well as a second helicopter. That night, RCMP received information that Zagwyn had made his way east to the Vanderhoof area, and may have taken a hostage and his vehicle.

There were also reports of more gunfire between the suspect and police, but no injuries were reported.

On Wednesday, Aug. 22, police found a man on the Stoney Reserve who had been the hostage. He was unharmed. Less than an hour later, Zagwyn was apprehended.

Owners of cabins in the area reported several of the buildings had been broken into.

Zagwyn had been wanted at the time of the incident on a Canada-wide warrant for breach of probation, and was prohibited from possessing firearms.