CASTLEGAR — Brandon Malkinson has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for the break-in and assault at the Chameleon Restaurant on Sept. 3.
The incident happened in the early morning and the owner of the restaurant, Hartmut Kaden — who lives upstairs from the restaurant — went down to investigate the commotion after arming himself with a small-calibre handgun.
During the confrontation Malkinson, 35, used bear spray on Kaden, blinding him. Kaden then fired his gun, but at the time he didn’t know if he had hit the assailant.
Malkinson fled the scene on foot, and it turns out that he had been shot in the chest.
Thanks to several good tips from the public, investigative work and round-the-clock attention from the RCMP, officers caught up with Malkinson outside of a house in Nelson four days later.
“We got a couple of good tips from the public as to who we may be looking for,” said Sgt. Laurel Matthew of the Castlegar RCMP. “We zeroed in on a potential [target] and then the members worked all the cities and eventually tracked him down.”
Malkinson avoided going to a hospital but was taken there by RCMP when he was arrested.
Malkinson was remanded in custody until a Sept. 11 court appearance where he pleaded guilty to break and enter, assault and breach of probation. Sentencing took place on Sept. 13.
According to BC Court Services records, Malkinson has a list of convictions that date back to 2003 with offences in Castlegar, Nelson, Creston, South Slocan, Kamloops, Dawson Creek and Chetwynd.
The list includes more than 10 counts of break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, plus theft under $5,000, assault with intent to resist arrest, possession of a stolen credit card, possession of stolen property over $5,000, willfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer, possession of a controlled substance, being unlawfully at large, possession of stolen property under $5,000, using a forged document, breach of probation and failure to appear — more than 30 counts in all.
The RCMP explained in a press release that charges would not be forthcoming against Kaden for using his handgun during the incident.
According to Sgt. Matthew, the handgun was a registered and legal firearm that was stored properly.
“He was put in a situation of — when you get bear-sprayed — you are incapacitated,” said Matthew. “There are several considerations that have to be made, that are taken into account when you defend yourself or your property and we found that he was acting with reasonable force considering the circumstance he was put in.”
“Police would also add that they don’t encourage people to take matters into their own hands if/when it’s possible to safeguard yourself and call 9-1-1.”