Motor Vehicle Collision Results in Impaired Driving Arrest and Recovery of Firearm – Niagara Falls

On January 1st, 2023, at 3:48am Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) officers assigned to 2 District (Niagara Falls / Niagara-on-the-Lake) responded to a motor vehicle collision on Main Street near Ferry Street, in the City of Niagara Falls.

As officers responded to the area the NRPS Communications Unit received information from a witness that the front seat passenger fled the area on foot allowing the driver to transition from the driver’s seat to the front passenger seat from within the vehicle.  Upon arrival, the impairment of the driver (who was now situated in the passenger seat) became evident to officers, resulting in an arrest for impaired operation of a motor vehicle.

Search incident to arrest, officers located a black and silver handgun on the floor of the passenger side of the vehicle.  The handgun was not loaded, and no ammunition was recovered.

Detectives assigned to the 2 District Criminal Investigative Branch became engaged in the investigation and the passenger who fled the scene on foot was later identified and ultimately arrested.

The driver, Brandon Robert BIRD (27 years) of Niagara Falls has been arrested and charged with the following Criminal Code offences:

                • Impaired operation of a motor vehicle

                • Failure or refusal to comply with a breath demand

                • Unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle

                • Possession of a restricted or prohibited firearm without holding a licence

                • Possession of a restricted or prohibited firearm knowingly not holding a licence

The passenger, Benjamin Gregory RASPAL (21 years) of Niagara Falls has been arrested and charged with the following Criminal Code offences:

                • Unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle

                • Possession of a restricted or prohibited firearm without holding a licence

                • Possession of a restricted or prohibited firearm knowingly not holding a licence

                • Possession of a firearm, weapon, or ammunition contrary to a prohibition order

Both BIRD and RASPAL were held for a bail hearing that took place via video link to the John Sopinka Courthouse, located at 45 Main Street East, in the City of Hamilton.  Both have been remanded into the custody of Ontario Correctional Services.

No injuries were sustained as a result of the motor vehicle collision.  Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is encouraged to contact the lead detective by dialing (905) 688-4111, option 3, extension 1009408.

Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-8477.  Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards to persons who contact the program with information that leads to an arrest.

 

Incident #23-99

 

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