The man who is accused of shooting at police in downtown Saskatoon last month has a criminal record dating back to 1997 and has been in and out of provincial and federal institutions, according to Parole Board of Canada documents.
Michael Andrew Arcand, 34, has been convicted of driving while impaired, fleeing from police assault, being unlawfully at large, assault and other crimes.
A February 2006 parole board document says Arcand was serving his first federal sentence of two years after he was drunk and high and led police on a chase in a stolen truck. The document says he sped through an intersection causing an accident that not only put a driver in a coma, but injured Arcand and his two passengers.
He was granted parole in March 2006 with conditions of abstaining from drugs and alcohol and receiving counselling. The parole board said Arcand acknowledged the harm he caused to victims and completed substance abuse programming, but later that month he broke his conditions and was sent back to prison in May.
Some locations where some offences occurred have been left out the document.
Freed on statutory release
Arcand was initially doing well after he was freed on statutory release in April 2007, according to a parole document. It says he was reporting to his parole officer, addressing substance abuse issues and seeing a counsellor. But, on his 24th birthday, Arcand drank too much at a party and was reported breaking into a vehicle in Alberta, according to the documents. That led to a high-speed pursuit with RCMP. Arcand hit another vehicle, fled on foot and tried to escape arrest by swimming the river, but was caught and sent back to prison. He had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. The 2007 document says he identified himself as the leader of a gang and had not made an effort to distance himself from the gang.
Arrested in 2010
Arcand was again granted parole in October 2009. Three months later he was arrested and charged with driving while suspended. He tested positive for opiates, although Arcand said it was from eating poppy seeds, according to the documents. His parole was revoked. A 2010 document states Arcand has a history of substance abuse and driving offences that “put him and the public in danger of harm or death.”
Arcand, who grew up on a First Nation, was a witness to and victim of abuse and both his parents had substance abuse issues, according to parole documents. He is a father and has had a steady partner. Arcand finished school up to Grade 8 and has a sporadic employment history. He started drinking at age nine and experimented with marijuana and crack cocaine later, the document states. It also says that abuse of alcohol played a major role in past offences.
Downtown Saskatoon shooting
Arcand is charged with attempted murder and six gun-related offences including possessing a homemade shotgun, possessing a firearm without a license, manufacturing a firearm and using a firearm while committing an indictable offence.
He allegedly fired at police shortly after 3 p.m. on Sept. 27 after officers responded to reports of a man breaking a vehicle’s windows in the 200 block of Fourth Avenue South.
Officers attempted unsuccessfully to take down Arcand using Tasers and beanbag rounds, and were unable to apprehend him before he fired at police with a homemade gun, according to police. He was eventually shot by police while running from officers toward 20th Street. Arcand was hit in the shoulder and bit by a police dog, police say. No police officers were injured.
Arcand has a bail hearing scheduled for Friday morning in Saskatoon Provincial Court.
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